Victims of domestic violence need family law advice

Date: Dec 11, 2013

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has conducted a survey on 300 victims of domestic violence.

It demonstrates that people should be seeking family law advice, as many don't know their rights or understand how to escape their abusive relationships.

Out of those who took part in the survey, just below half (48.2 per cent) said they had not reported the incident of domestic violence to the police.

The reasons for this varied from person to person, but the main three were because they:

- felt police would not handle or understand the situation effectively (17.1 per cent)
- thought the domestic violence they had suffered was "not serious enough to warrant a report" (11.4 per cent)
- expected to get no advice before or after making such a report (7.9 per cent)

Shockingly, almost two-thirds of victims who did not approach police following domestic violence said they were happy they had not reported the incident. This was because:

- the incident was a one-off, or the domestic violence did not escalate (25 per cent)
- they managed to handle the situation by themselves and did not have to go through "the embarrassment of police invading their privacy (23.8 per cent)
- they did not have to deal with the stress of a police inquiry (23.8 per cent)

The remaining one-third of respondents said they wished they had sought help and advice sooner.

According to the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, victims of domestic violence are most likely to come forward if they have an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against the culprit, if they are harmed physically, if their property is damaged or destroyed and if they believe their children might be at risk.

When asked if they had any suggestions for other people living with domestic violence, 21.9 per cent of the victims who took part in the survey advised reporting the incident or incidents to the police.

Other suggestions involved leaving the abusive relationship, speaking with family and friends about the issue and seeking counsel from a professional.

Craddock Murray Neumann's team of family lawyers are experienced in helping victims of domestic violence and guiding them through the legal aspects of their situation. If you could use some advice, get in touch with us today.