When love hurts...

When love hurts...

When love hurts...

I’m a glass half full kind of guy. I like to think that we live in a world where for the most part people are decent.

Now, you don’t have to be a sports fan like myself to know the trouble the National Football League is facing in light of the recent Ray Rice domestic violence incident. The video footage released by TMZ showed the Baltimore Raven’s star running back strike his then fiancé, Janay Palmer, with a left hook which led to her head being bounced off an elevator rail. It was enough to make anyone feel absolutely sick to their stomach.

Does this act of domestic violence surprise me? Unfortunately, the answer is no. This could have been anyone other than Ray Rice. The sad reality of it all is that it has taken an incident like this to bring to the forefront a problem which is occurring every day.

A common misconception is that people might assume that domestic violence constitutes only an act of physical abuse. However that is not the case. The Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA) defines domestic violence as:-

  1. Assaulting or causing personal injury to a person
  2. Kidnapping or depriving the person of his liberty
  3. Damaging the person’s property, including the injury or death of an animal that is the person’s property;
  4. Behaving in an ongoing manner that is intimating, offensive or emotionally abusive towards the person;
  5. Pursuing the person or a third person, or causing the person or a third to be pursued-
    1. With intent to intimidate the person; or
    2. In a manner that could reasonably expected to intimidate, and that does in fact intimidate, the person;
  6. Threatening to commit any act described in paragraphs (a) to (c) against the person

Now, if you are able to show that an act of domestic violence has occurred, you must also be able to show that the act of domestic violence is likely to occur again.

What does that mean? You have to prove to the Court that there is a real likelihood that you will continue to be subject to acts of domestic violence in the future unless the Court grants you a Violence Restraining Order.

In my experience in dealing with Domestic Violence matters in both Queensland and Western Australia I’ve seen the worst of the worst of the “tit for tat” applications. Make no mistake about it folks, the Courts are not stupid. They can tell the difference between serious allegations of domestic violence and an argument between a husband and wife.

So remember how I started off this blog by saying that I’m a glass half full kind of guy? Well, failing that, I’m a realist. Domestic violence is real and I know that. Thousands of men and women are victims of domestic violence and I know that too.

You want to know what else I know? You should not have to suffer through it for one more second.

Free counselling help lines are run by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on 1800 007 339 (Women) and 1800 000 599 (Men).

Go to www.magistratescourt.wa.gov.au to download and complete an Application for a Violence Restraining Order or alternatively, contact us if you would like assistanace with the process.

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Sunday, 20 January 2019