Domestic violence is a term used to distinguish offending that involves people in certain relationships as opposed to a random person e.g. the offence of assault when occurring on a relative is still the same technical offence of assault on a person in the street with whom there is no familial or other connection, these are characterised as “personal violence” offences. [READ MORE]
The parliament has recognised, that offences committed against a relative, often in the family home, make up a significant proportion of offending and as such, can be categorised and labelled to targeted and discouraged by the police and court system.
To constitute a “domestic violence” offence there must be a particular relationship:
- Is or has been married to the other person; or
- Is or has been a facto partner of the other person; or
- Is, or has been, in an intimate relationship with the other person, whether or not that intimacy involves, or involved, a sexual relationship; or
- Is of has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person; or
- Is, or has been. In a long-term dependent relationship, paid or unpaid, in the care of the other person; or
- Is, or has been a relative of the other person; or
- For Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, is or has been part of the extended family or kin of the other person according to the Indigenous kinship system of the culture.
There have been some horrific examples of domestic violence offences reported in the media, as a result, the police and courts deal with all domestic violence allegations extremely seriously. The process of allegation, arrest and being placed before the court can be disturbing and confronting.
The legislation governing this area is the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act. This Act sets out specific processes relating to applications for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, otherwise known as restraining orders, and the consequences of breaching them and related offences. Other offences like assaults or property damage will be found in the Crimes Act.
In limited circumstances, you may wish to explore seeking an order to protect yourself, in most cases the best and most efficient way to do this is to approach NSW Police Force who have specialist officers trained for this specific task. However, sometimes circumstances occur where you may wish to approach the matter with a private lawyer. If so, we are able to assist but there are risks that will need to be explained to you.
If you find yourself in a situation where an application is made for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order or, worse still, you have been charged with a domestic violence offence and you would like assistance to understand your options, J Sutton Associates, have a NSW Law Society recognised Accredited Specialist in criminal law, with decades of experience acting for people charged with apprehended domestic violence order applications and domestic violence offences. Call 02 8080 8055 for personalised advice and service.