01 May Domestic Violence & Family Law
Domestic and Family Violence includes any behaviour, in an intimate or family relationship, which is violent, threatening, coercive, or controlling, causing a person to live in fear and to be made to do things against their will. Family Lawyers are constantly faced with client’s who are the victims or perpetrators of family violence.
Having recently attended an Insight exchange provided by DVSM Sightlines at Sydney University it is clearly apparent that family lawyers are crucial social responders to those who present in our offices as victims of family violence.
We need to deal with clients who have had family violence perpetrated against them in an understanding and professional way as our social/professional responses can be both ‘helpful and harmful’ to our clients.
Positive and negative social responses from ‘family lawyers’ influences ‘if’ and ‘how’ the victim engages with social networks and services. One step to becoming more ready to respond, is to understand what your response might mean to the victim – how our response can help or how it can harm.
As Family Lawyers we need to remember, there may be much more going on that our client’s care to say but will not share until they know they’re safe to share more details with us.
If we try to make decisions and tell our clients what to do in these circumstances, our client’s might feel unsafe to share more about their abuse with us. From a victim of domestic violence …
“I may know what I want you to do, I may want you to do nothing, I may want your quiet support alongside me, or I may want you to do something proactive, or a mix of these things.” “listen to me and follow my lead. Let me decide what’s needed and what’s next. Let me lead the pace and the precision of any steps.
“Let me lead as all of this may take time”
At Lapointe Family Law we work closely with counsellors and experienced professionals able to assist and support our clients who have been subjected to Family Violence. Michele Reeves and our Executive Wellness Coach is an expert in this field and assists Lapointe Family Law with strategies and methods for family violence victims to navigate this path which may include safety plans, family support services, AVO’s, and finding emergency accommodation. We work with you in every aspect of your journey through and after separation.
Please call Chris on 0418602807 or Michele on 0414722882 if you wish to discuss your personal situation or know of anyone who may benefit from our client focussed approach.