Dealing with family violence

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What is family violence?

Family violence is defined as:
1. Willfully or knowingly placing or attempting to place a family member in fear of hurt
2. Causing hurt to a family member by an act which he or she ought to know would cause and result in hurt
3. Wrongful confining or restraining a family member against their will
4. Causing continual harassment with intent to cause anguish to a family member, including verbal abuse, psychological or emotional abuse

What can I do if I am facing family violence?

If you are facing family violence, you have several options for help that may depend on the nature of the emergency and the level of violence:
1. Calling for help
2. Getting medical attention
3. Reporting to the police
4. Seeking counselling
5. Seeking shelter in a crisis shelter
6. Seeking legal protection
Remember, addressing an abusive relationship does not necessarily mean ending the relationship.

Personal Protection Order (PPO)

The most common Protection Order is the Personal Protection Order. The court may make one or both of the following orders:
1. The offender cannot use family violence against the family member
2. The offender cannot incite or assist anyone to commit family violence against the family member
The PPO is granted only after a trial unless the offender consents to the grant of the PPO. Medical reports and police reports can be helpful.

Making a safety plan


Keep in mind the different options and resources that may be available to you in a situation of crisis


Teach your children to call 999


Keep a small amount of money handy at all times


Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency. Plan where to go in a situation of emergency.


In the event of an attack, avoid places where there are likely to be knives or other weapons


Pack an emergency bag, and hide it somewhere safe

How to help someone facing family violence


Listen to their problems and do not be judgemental


Respect their decision


If they are depressed or confused, suggest that they seek professional help


Offer information on available resources


Work together to develop a safety plan


Accompany them to the police post, hospital, counselling centers


Call the police or other agencies that may be able to help

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