Family violence and its impact on children

24-November-2015 Family Law By Simone Green

The effects of family violence on children are far-reaching. Family violence is more than physical violence and includes coercive and controlling violent behaviour.

If you are in an abusive relationship, it is essential that you leave and get help for your children’s sake, as well as your own.

The Family Courts take the issue of family violence very seriously and have a number of systems in place to protect vulnerable parties who have experienced or fear violence. If you need court orders to regulate your children’s time with the other parent, you can obtain an exemption to mediate if you fear for your safety or fear intimidation from the other party.

When filing an application in court for children’s issues you must also file a Notice of Risk setting out the abuse or family violence or the risk of it occurring. Upon filing the Notice of Risk, there is an automatic notification to the appropriate welfare department who may choose to investigate. The most serious allegations of child abuse and/or family violence may be fast tracked via a dedicated list called the Magellan Programme. The children will be appointed their own lawyer, who will issue a number of subpoenas to police, schools and welfare bodies to assist the court in making a determination of what orders are in the best interest of the child.

For more information on how family violence can affect children, please read the Family Court’s brochure here:

Exposure to family violence and its effect on children

For further information or advice, please contact the Family Law experts at Streeterlaw on 8197 0105 or email

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