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Safety from domestic violence

We worked closely with a Mater youth worker from to assist a young man, Jake, and his elderly grandmother Irene after they had been subject to relentless violence from Jake’s mother. They feared for their safety and had applied for a domestic violence protection order against the mother.

To address the risk urgently, Jake and Irene made an urgent temporary application to the court, which granted a nocontact order based on the level of violence. We also negotiated with the Department of Housing to change the locks on their apartment, at no cost to them.

We worked with Irene’s GP and Jake’s youth worker to help them prepare evidence about their health and apply for legal aid. We secured a direct referral to a legal aid lawyer to continue assisting the clients with their DVO application.

When Jake and Irene were subpoenaed to give evidence for a separate a DVO application brought by Jake’s mother, we negotiated with the court to allow them to remain together in a safe witness room while they gave evidence, due to the fragility of the clients and the level of risk.

During the first court appearance, the presiding Magistrate dismissed the mother’s application and granted the Domestic Violence Order to our clients on the basis of risk, so they did not have to proceed to the hearing of their application.

“No one has ever listened to me. I always felt like a ball of nothing. And I kept getting smaller. But you listened to me and let me have a voice.”

“You are an angel sent from the heavens. I don’t know how I can ever repay you, but I could repay you in food!”

 

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