Domestic Violence on The Rise Due to Covid-19 and Your Rights


The world may be in a health crisis due to Covid-19, but one of the most concerning developments starting to be documented through the media is the rise of Domestic Violence reports.

 

The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic violence abuse as being as high as 20 per cent in lockdown due to many victims being trapped at home with their abuser.

 

In Australia, the latest reports show one in 10 Australian women in a relationship have experienced domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis, with two-thirds saying the situation has started during the pandemic or has become worse during the pandemic.

 

Google has also reported the highest magnitude of searches for domestic violence help they’ve seen in the past five years, with an increase of 75 per cent on the topic.

 

A survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology has also revealed over half of the women who had experienced physical or sexual violence before COVID-19 said it had become more severe during the pandemic. Also, for 33 per cent of women, it was the first time they had experienced physical or sexual violence in their relationship.

 

The Morrison government has been quick to act announcing a $150 million package to provide more counselling and support services for women and their children who have experienced family violence due to the fallout from coronavirus.

 

Firstly, if you feel like you are in immediate danger or your children are in immediate danger call, 000. Alternatively, call a mental health hotline such as Lifeline or 1800RESPECT for advice on your situation.

 

What to do to apply for an AVO through the police

 

You may need an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to protect you where:

 

  • Someone has hurt you or your child
  • You are scared that someone will hurt you or your child
  • Someone is intimidating, harassing, or stalking you or your child
  • To get an AVO, you will need to show that you fear the defendant and that there are reasonable grounds for you to fear the defendant

 

The steps are as follows:

 

  • Speak to the Police
  • Provide a Statement
  • Sign a Statement
  • Police Send the Application
  • Go to Court

 

What’s an AVO

 

An AVO stands for Apprehensive Violence Order and is an Order made by the Court that prohibits specific behaviour of the defendant. It’s designed to protect you against future harassment, intimidation, stalking or violence. It will state that a person cannot assault, harass, threaten, stalk or go within a certain distance of your home or workplace.

 

There are two types of AVO’s:

 

  1. An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) which is taken out against a family member, spouse or ex-spouse or intimate partner.

 

  1. An Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO), which is used for protection on someone other than a family member or spouse, such as a random stranger or neighbour or work colleague.

 

If you have been issued with either of these orders, it’s wise to seek legal advice from a lawyer about your rights.

 

For more information on your rights in a domestic violence situation, or if you’ve issued or been issued an AVO or APVO, contact us at Bale Bosher Lawyers.  We are experienced in criminal law. We can help you in Domestic Violence proceedings, whether as a Complainant or a Defendant. Call us today for a consultation.

 

Article by Paul O’Sullivan

Paul O'Sullivan Solicitor in NewcastlePaul O’Sullivan – Lawyer
Since becoming a lawyer in 1985, Paul’s legal expertise has been sought after by people all over Australia.Areas of law
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