1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual assault, or both, perpetrated by someone they know.
At least 1 woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.
Police attend call-outs about domestic and family violence on average, once every 2 minutes in Australia.
Of those women who experience violence, more than 50% have children in their care.
Source – police.nsw.gov.au
Are you currently experiencing domestic and family violence?
Domestic and family violence is experienced in different ways, not always physical. Domestic and family violence may include emotional abuse, financial control, verbal, sexual or social abuse. In the wake of COVID-19, whilst new government regulations have been introduced to enforce social isolation and stop the spread of the virus, this might be your worst nightmare if you are currently experiencing domestic and family violence in your home.
It may be that you were allowed to leave the home to take the children to school, which was your only opportunity to talk to or check in with other parents or family members. Or perhaps your partner is now working from home, and the emotional taunting, blame and threats has increased to the point where you are beginning to fear for your physical safety and the safety of the children.
What can you do?
If you are concerned about your immediate safety or the safety of your children, call the Police on 000.
If you are considering taking legal action, while your own voice and recollections can be compelling, legally, it may not be enough evidence to support your argument. So, what should you do?
- Report every occurrence of violence or abuse to the Police where possible. Even if you are not seeking further action from the Police, the information can be recorded and be provided with an event number.
- Ask to speak to a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer at the Police station. Find out your rights and ability for the police to take out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order on your behalf or connect you to a support service.
- Keep a record of, and do not delete, abusive text messages, voicemails, emails, private messages through social media, or any other source that you have received them and report these to the Police. If your phone is being monitored, try and obtain a spare mobile phone and transfer the evidence to this phone, or send the evidence to a friend’s phone or email (then delete those messages so your partner will not find out what you are doing).
- Reach out – to a domestic violence support service such as 1800 RESPECT, family or friends, your children’s school, preschool or day-care. Do not be ashamed of what you are experiencing, it is not your fault. Let your support worker, family or friends know what is going on at home, and ask that they write it down as well.
- Speak with your child’s school counsellor, make them aware of the circumstances and ask that they check in to speak with your child or children, and keep an eye on their behaviours. Not only will your children benefit from having a safe place where they can talk, these notes may also be subpoenaed should the matter proceed to Court.
- Make a safety plan. Put together your important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificate and passports. If you are concerned that your partner will notice these missing, one of our lawyers or JP’s will be happy to make certified copies for you. We can also hold the documents in our safe custody. Otherwise get them to a friend or family member to hold for you.
- If you have experienced financial control and abuse, you may be unaware of your family’s financial circumstances. As part of any property settlement discussion, you have a right to certain disclosure. We can help you with what financial disclosure documents you will need to obtain
- Seek legal advice. Knowledge is power. At Scarf Family Law, we specialise in family law, and are here help you regain your power. Call or email us to arrange a confidential consultation.