Many families experience family violence where there is coercion or control of a family member causing fear.
Family Violence is also referred to as domestic violence.
We can all identify family violence when one family member assaults another. However family violence is wider than this. It can include repeated derogatory taunts, intentionally damaging furniture or objects, financial control, preventing a family member from keeping connections with their family, friends and culture among other examples.
Often the victim is not even aware that the perpetrators actions amount to family violence as most people equate family/domestic violence with physical assault.
For children, experiencing or witnessing family violence can have long lasting and damaging effects, and it is vital that children get the support they need as well as the victim.
There are multiple reasons why victims of family violence struggle to ask for help. Many times victims think a situation is not serious enough to seek help, are too embarrassed, or think that the violence will stop.
One of the primary considerations of the Family Court in parenting matters is the need to protect children from physical or psychological harm, including being subjected or exposed to family violence. The Family Court has broad jurisdiction to make orders restricting contact between children and parents, and even third parties. The Family Court can also override and Apprehended Violence Order if it deems it is in the best interests of the children to do so.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, or is at risk of family violence, please phone the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can provide counselling, safety strategies, and assist you in finding professional services in your area. Additionally, you can speak to one of our experienced Family Law team on 02 9411 4466.