Presentation on theme: "Federation of Community Legal Centres, Vic"— Presentation transcript:
1 Federation of Community Legal Centres, Vic How can the Family Violence Act help to protect seniors from elder abuse?Dr Chris AtmorePolicy OfficerFederation of Community Legal Centres, Vic
2 Question of how big is the intersection – something to discuss Elder AbuseFamily ViolenceNote the 3 areas.Question of how big is the intersection – something to discuss
3 Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) A Rough Guide. . . Lots of work over many years from victims/survivors, advocates including community workers and lawyers.Basics, what is especially important to know if you are working with or know an elder person who is being abused.
4 Non-violence is a fundamental social value that must be promoted Family Violence Protection ActNon-violence is a fundamental social value that must be promotedFamily violence is a fundamental violation of human rights and is unacceptable in any formFamily violence is not acceptable in any community or cultureThe justice system should treat the views of victims of family violence with respect(from the Preamble) Principles
5 (from the Preamble) Parliament recognises. . . Family Violence Protection ActNon-violence is a fundamental social value that must be promotedAnyone can be a victim or perpetrator of FV, but it is mainly committed by men against women, children and other vulnerable personsChildren exposed to the effects of FV are particularly vulnerable - may have a serious impact on children's current and future physical, psychological and emotional wellbeingFamily violence is a fundamental violation of human rights and is unacceptable in any formFV affects the entire community and occurs in all areas of society, regardless of location, socioeconomic and health status, age, culture, gender, sexual identity, ability, ethnicity or religionFamily violence is not acceptable in any community or cultureFV extends beyond physical and sexual violence - may involve emotional or psychological abuse and economic abuseThe justice system should treat the views of victims of family violence with respectFV may involve overt or subtle exploitation of power imbalances and may consist of isolated incidents or patterns of abuse over a period of time(from the Preamble) Parliament recognises. . .
6 Family Violence Protection Act Maximise safety for children and adults who have experienced family violencePrevent and reduce family violence to the greatest extent possibleFamily Violence Protection ActPromote the accountability of perpetrators of family violence for their actionsFrom Purpose of the Act
7 Does the FVPA apply to the situation? ‘family’‘violence’Does the FVPA apply to the situation?Does the FVPA apply to the senior person’s situation? Start with ‘family violence’.
8 physical abuse sexual abuse economic abuse coercive behaviour ‘violence’physical abusesexual abuseeg repeated derogatory taunts, eg threatening to withhold the FM’s medicationsemotional or psychological abuseeg coercing a person to sign a power of attorney, eg removing or threatening to keep the FM’s property without permissioneconomic abusethreatening behaviourcoercive behaviourin any other way controls of dominates and causes person to feel fear for their or another’s safety or wellbeingeg intentionally damaging FM’s property, eg injuring an animal in order to control FMcauses a child to hear or witness or otherwise be exposed to the effects of FVeg overhearing threats, eg being present when police officers attend an incident involving physical FVMore on economic abuse: behaviour by a person that is coercive, deceptive or unreasonably controls another person , without the second person's consent—(a) in a way that denies the second person the economic or financial autonomy the second person would have had but for that behaviour; or(b) by withholding or threatening to withhold the financial support necessary for meeting the reasonable living expenses of the second person or the second person's child, if the second person is entirely or predominantly dependent on the first person for financial support to meet those living expenses.
9 child who usually resides or has done, with the violent person ‘family member’spouse or domestic partner (including same sex, and whether or not co-residing)present or past intimate relationship (need not be sexual), or child of that personpresent or past relative (including Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander understandings)child who usually resides or has done, with the violent person‘like a family member’ eg perhaps a relationship between a person with a disability and their carer‘family member’ is very broad.‘Like a family member’:Person must regard or have regarded them as being like a family memberThat view must be reasonable, having regard to the circumstances of the relationship, including :(a) the nature of the social and emotional ties between the relevant person and the other person;(b) whether the relevant person and the other person live together or relate together in a home environment;(c) the reputation of the relationship as being like family in the relevant person's and the other person's community;(d) the cultural recognition of the relationship as being like family in the relevant person's or other person's community;(e) the duration of the relationship between the relevant person and the other person and the frequency of contact;(f) any financial dependence or interdependence between the relevant person or other person;(g) any other form of dependence or interdependence between the relevant person and the other person;(h) the provision of any responsibility or care, whether paid or unpaid, between the relevant person and the other person;(i) the provision of sustenance or support between the relevant person and the other person.
10 Family Violence Protection Act Maximise safety for children and adults who have experienced FVPrevent and reduce FV to the greatest extent possibleFamily Violence Protection ActPromote the accountability of perpetrators of FV for their actionsSo if situation of the elder person fits the Act, how can they be protected? Back to the Purpose of the Act. . .
11 How the FVPA’s purpose is achieved family violence intervention orders and family violence safety noticesoffences for contraventions of FV intervention orders and FV safety noticesPurpose is achieved by. . .
12 Police Officer Any other person if adult AFM consents Magistrates’ or Children’s CourtAffected family memberAny other person if adult AFM consentsMagistrates’ CourtIf child AFM, parent or any other person with parent’s consent or leave of courtGuardian of AFM, or any other person with leave of courtHow can a person experiencing FV get an order?First must apply to Court.
13 Final FV intervention order The respondent has committed FV against the AFMThe respondent is likely to commit FV against the AFM againCourt is satisfied that these are more likely than notFinal FV intervention orderTo get a final order, the court must be satisfied that. . .
14 Prohibit respondent (R) from committing FV against the protected person (PP) Exclude R from PP’s residenceDirect R to return PP’s personal propertyProhibit R from being within a specified distance of PPProhibit R from contacting PP unless in police companyCancel R’s firearms authorityAny conditions that the Court thinks are necessary or desirable in the circumstancesWhat does an order mean?Conditions.If the respondent breaches any of these, it is a criminal offence. Punishable by up to 2 years’ imprisonment, or up to $ fine, or both. However. . .Note to that R can also be criminally prosecuted for any FV that is also an offence eg assault, rape etc.
15 Helping victims give evidence Interim ordersPolice Safety NoticesHolding powersAssociated ordersConsent of victim?Helping victims give evidenceSome other features in the Act – increase safety of AFM, and protect human rights:Eg protection for associates of the AFM and against associates of the R
16 Find out more Seniors Rights Victoria Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria Women’s Legal Service Victoria Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service all at and google ‘Family Violence Department of Justice Victoria’