Without knowing more about your personal circumstances, it is difficult to answer this question.If you’re not sure whether there has been domestic violence, see here for a description of what domestic violence
However, I can say, if you are concerned for your safety and your life, or your children’s lives, may be in danger, please call the police (000 for emergencies and 131 444 for non-emergencies).
Domestic violence is committed against men and women.
If the police believe there has been domestic violence and there is a risk to your safety and that of your children, the police have the authority to put a temporary intervention order in place against your spouse. The order will include a summons requiring your spouse to attend the Magistrates Court on a set date and time.
The Magistrates Court will then make a decision about whether the intervention order should stay in place longer-term and:
- Make the order permanent (fixed for a period of time);
- Vary the conditions of the order;
- Accept the interim order and adjourn the matter to a later date (for example if your husband tells the court he needs to get some legal advice);
- Cancel the order if it is not satisfied there has been domestic violence.
If an intervention order is made and your spouse breaches the order (for example, if the order says he or she must stay away from you, and he or she doesn’t) and you let the police know the order has been breached it, the police will investigate your complaint and ask you to make a statement and your spouse may be arrested.
If your spouse breaches the orders and you don’t tell the police, they can’t help you.
The seriousness of the complaint or the breach of an intervention will determine what sort of penalty is imposed against your spouse – for example, a more serious breach, or repeated breaches may result in a jail sentence.
If there is physical violence, your spouse may also charged with criminal offences.
In some circumstances, the family law courts can also make injunctive orders – for example, the court can make orders that you have the sole use and occupation of the family home that exclude your spouse from entering the property. If your spouse breaches that order and enters the house, you will need to call the police to remove your spouse and possibly also apply for a contravention order in the Family Court.
For advice about the options and potential outcomes that apply to your particular circumstances, you should get legal advice. Get in touch with Megan Sweetlove for a confidential discussion at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8274 3848.
DISCLAIMER: The information you read on this site is not, and is not intended to be, legal advice. Sweetlove Family Law produces this information sheet for the purpose of providing general information only on relevant topics of interest in relation to Family Law. This information sheet is current at the time it is produced however you should not rely on the general information contained in this information sheet as legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your own specific circumstances.