There are many frustrating myths about what “domestic violence” means or whom it affects. The truth about domestic violence is that it affects people of all classes, cultures, religions, ages and gender and it includes all kinds of behaviours which are in no way limited to physical violence.

Any person who is in or was previously in a de facto, intimate, couple, marital, family or informal care relationship can apply for a temporary or final protection Order.

If you are the victim of emotional, psychological, financial, physical or sexual abuse, or behaviour which is controlling, intimidating, harassing, or you are being stalked by someone you are in need of protection.

You are able to apply to your local Magistrates Court for a Protection Order.  Being an aggrieved person you are able to and are encouraged to report the matter to the police.  The police are required to hear your complaint.  They may then file an application on your behalf.  The police in those circumstances will represent you in Court or you can engage a private lawyer to act for you.  You are also able to engage a private lawyer to assist you in filing an application.  A private lawyer such as Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors will then advise you and represent you in Court.

There are instances where applicant clients engage us after being told by the police that they will not file an application on their behalf and have suggested that the applicant file their own application.  We have found that the reality in practice is that the police will not always assist an aggrieved person. You should not be deterred by the police telling you that they will not assist.  Frequently the unwillingness of the police to assist in no way reflects the merit of the application itself.  If you do not wish to have the police assist you or if they will not, we are able to assist.

Very often our applicant clients engage us when things have become escalated and are “out of control”.  It is important to take action at an early stage in order to ensure that you and others are protected from domestic violence.

The law in Queensland maximises safety, protection and wellbeing and works to prevent and reduce exposure to violence rather than only being applied where there is extensive evidence of domestic violence.

We are frequently told by our clients that they did not take action earlier because they felt as though they were responsible for causing the violence, or because they felt embarrassed about their situation, or felt as though they were powerless to make it stop.

The most empowering tool available to you is knowledge.  We work in a holistic fashion to advise our clients in full about their rights and options so that they can make informed decisions at an early stage.

In some circumstances urgent Orders can be obtained without the other party being present in Court with you.  There are also safety areas provided in Court to ensure that you do not come into contact with the respondent.

You are able to apply for an Order which in effect forces someone to leave a property or prohibits them from approaching you at any place that you are.  You can also seek an Order preventing contact with your family members and friends in some circumstances.

The Order itself is a protective mechanism imposed by the Court in a civil jurisdiction.  Once an Order is in force the Police can then be contacted if there is a breach of the Order.  A breach is considered a criminal offence and serious consequences flow to the person who has breached the Order.  The criminal law ramifications mean that perpetrators of ongoing domestic violence are held accountable for their actions.

Act protectively now to stop violence from occurring or continuing down the track.