Unfortunately Christmas may not be a happy time for all. Domestic violence continues to permeate our society and whilst most of us are enjoying our Christmas ham and time with family, others are suffering, sometimes cut off from family and friends. The isolation of their situation heightens, particularly at this time of year.
Law firms, like many other businesses, often close for a short period of time at Christmas and so it is important to be aware of all of your options.
If you find yourself in danger, you should immediately contact the police. They will be the quickest and most effective responders and able to provide you with immediate assistance. In some situations, police may then elect to issue a notice preventing the perpetrator from having contact with you for a period of time, or they may apply for a protection order on your behalf. Either way, the help they provide will be prompt and should be your first point of call if you are in danger.
You may also want to seek assistance from a crisis counselling service. They can provide support and assist in developing a safety plan to ensure you are kept safe this Christmas and always. The following organisations provide domestic violence support:
- DV Connect – 1800 811 811
- 1800 RESPECT – 1800 737 732
- Relationships Australia – 1300 364 277
- Mensline Australia – 1300 789 978
- Aboriginal Family and Domestic Violence Hotline – 1800 019 123
Many of these services are staffed 24/7 and have trained, experienced support workers.
Be aware that the Magistrates Court registry offices in Queensland are closed for non-urgent applications from 21 December 2020 to 1 January 2021. They will reopen on 4 January 2021. If you require urgent assistance in the closure period, you should contact the police. You can lodge a private application for a protection order upon the courts reopening in January 2021.
Remember, there are many support options out there. If you are in immediate danger over the Christmas break, take these steps to protect yourself.
If you wish to seek the advice and assistance of a solicitor regarding domestic and family violence, contact our family lawyers team at Best Wilson Buckley Family Law, noting that our offices will be briefly closed from 5pm on Wednesday 23 December 2020, reopening at 8:30am on Monday 4 January 2021.