The Domestic and Family Violence Act 2012 (QLD) provides protection for victims of domestic and family violence in Queensland and each state or territory has their own legislation. There are many similarities and differences between the law in each legislation so it is important to understand what constitutes domestic violence in the state relevant to you. When considering whether to make a Domestic Violence Order (DVO), the court looks at a few matters: Whether there is a relevant relationship; Whether there has been an act of domestic violence; and Whether it is necessary or desirable to make an order. The definition of domestic violence is very broad and encompasses physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal and financial abuse. This includes behaviour that is threatening, coercive, controlling or makes the victim fear for their or someone else's safety.
Exposing children to domestic violence is also covered under the legislation. If there is a DVO in place that stops two parties from having contact then they are unable to communicate with one another to resolve any parenting or property disputes. However, the legislation provides that a legal representative is able to contact the other party even if there is a DVO in place preventing contact between them in order to resolve these disputes. The jurisdiction for DVO matters is the Magistrates Court and so applications should be lodged in the court local to the parties. Domestic Violence matters can also be heard in the District Court on appeal or some contravention charges can be heard in a higher court in certain circumstances.