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Protection Orders – Domestic Violence

 


The Domestic Violence Act was created to provide victims of abuse in relationships, (whether the parties are married, living together or at any time in the past were in such a relationship), inexpensive access to the courts for protection.

 

The idea is that the parties go to court without the assistance of lawyers. It is supposed to be a quick and effective remedy for the abused person.

 

Unfortunately the process is itself abused. At the drop of a hat one or other party is advised by friends, family or their lawyers to rush off and get such an order. The party against whom the order is granted then adopts a "tit for tat" approach and goes and gets an order against the first party. What a mess!

 

The problem is that as long as a party makes allegations of acts or behaviour that fall within the definitions of abuse, the court is compelled to make an order. Often one or both of the parties lie or exaggerate.

 

Of course there are many cases in which an order is necessary and justified.

 

It is not wise and in fact downright stupid and short sighted to attempt to use this process as a "power play" in divorce actions, custody of and access to children battles and the like. It does not help the parties to settle.