With the current restrictions we have had to close our consulting rooms, however we are still providing our services by phone and video.
In this time of heightened need, clients or enquirers can call us on 1800-639-523 or use the make an online enquiry option below. Learn More

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High Street Medical Centre, 17 High Street
Bunyip, VIC 3815

T 1800 639 523 T 1800 639 523


Fitzroy Legal Service, Level 4, 126 Moor Street (access via courtyard)
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

T 03 9355 4700 T 03 9355 4700


Diamond Valley Community Support Centre, Shop 378a, Level 3 Greensborough Plaza
Greensborough, Victoria 3088

T 03 9355 4700 T 03 9355 4700


Pakenham Springs Centre, 5 Livingstone Blvd
Pakenham, VIC 3810

T 03 8781 9111 T 03 8781 9111


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Family Violence

We’re still here to support you

The increased stress and tension on families and households due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) can impact adversely on relationships and increase the risk of family violence. 

The Family Law Act the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 and recent amendments expanding the definitions of family violence and child abuse send a strong message that family violence will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Courts dealing with family law matters must take into account any incidence of violence involving (or a family violence order applying to) the child or a member of the child’s family. This is to protect the child from future violence and abuse.

What is Family Violence?

  • Family violence means violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family, or causes the family member to be fearful.
  • Examples of behaviour that may constitute family violence include (but are not limited to):
  • an assault
  • a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour
  • stalking
  • repeated derogatory taunts
  • intentionally damaging or destroying property
  • intentionally causing death or injury to an animal
  • unreasonably denying the family member the financial autonomy that he or she would otherwise have had
  • preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture

Protection from Family Violence

The Family Law Act states expressly that protecting children from physical or psychological harm, from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence is a primary principle (along with the right of children to know their parents) when a court is considering the children’s best interests. This means that children must be protected not only from the direct harm of violence but also from harm that results when they are exposed to family violence perpetrated against other family members. This is now a top priority when a Court is determining what is in the children’s best interests.

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

FDR practitioners screen for family violence at every step of the way before, during and after Mediation. All clients are seen separately for an intake assessment prior to making a decision about whether to proceed with FDR. The practitioner may make a decision not to proceed with FDR for safety reasons, even if the client wishes to proceed. Victims of family violence will always be referred to other agencies and legal practitioners who can advocate on their behalf and/or provide the necessary supports.

If appropriate, and safety considerations have been addressed, shuttle sessions can be arranged whereby the parties are seen in separate rooms either on the same day or on different days.

Separating parents are not required to attend family dispute resolution in cases where there has been violence or child abuse.


Children, Family violence and the Law


What do I do now?

If you feel your situation would benefit from Family Dispute Resolution or you would just like to know more, please call 1800 639 523, live chat, or send an email to enquiry@betterplaceaustralia.com.au with your contact details.

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