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Abuse at Dad's

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Can someone please give me advice if they are able to. My children are being abused at their fathers. They have witnessed the stepmother abusing her own son by choking him pulling his hair and belting him with a strap. I have reported all of these incidents to Docs. The father and this woman are trying to turn them against me. They dread going there, and now showing real signs of stress and anxiety. During counselling with Relationships Australia they have detailed the abuse. Can this be subpoenaed by the court or the Docs reports???

 I need to take a stand. If I stop the going I am in breach of orders made this year. If I cannot prove the incidents my lawyer tells me I may lose custody to him, currently it is 60/40 to me. Do I take the risk to protect them and stop them going and potentially put them in further jeopardy by them having to be there all of the time? What do I do? I need to protect my children. My feeling is i know they are telling the truth and i know it is happening so justice will be done but without back up evidence its a huge risk. I really need to know if Docs and R.A can be subpoenaed.
Please help!
A child being abused can lodge an AVO request with Police who will take immediate action. If the child is too young to do so (and there is no set age) then a parent can lodge on behalf of the child. (Don't get the child to turn up in court with a pair of surfing shorts and rashie…)It seems that THEY have witnessed something done to another child of the blended family by the partner of the father.

Matters of violence against children, raised by the children at the Relationship Centre to the mediator should have been reported by the Centre (As a mandatory reporter) to either DOCS / JIRT or Police and the mediation session should have, in my view been suspended or concluded to that point.

In relation to subpoena you cannot use any material from the relationship centre in affidavit but I am not sure if you can subpoena the material or records of the centre on an application. I would need to check the rules on that point.

There are now no legal impediments to stop false allegations in a Family Matter so you can tell falsities and fabrications without penalty. I am not suggesting for a moment that you are doing so but I am telling you there are now no longer any mandatory penalties for false allegations. So regardless of the proof or otherwise you should be able to raise anything with complete immunity to s117AB which was repealed tonight in the Senate. Your solicitor needs to get up to speed with what is going on in Family Law.

The law has also changed and if you "believe' Family violence is taking place then it is taking place and you may involve the police immediately… I will list the new definition of Family Violence in the Family Law Act (Not STATE Acts which Police operate under so there will be some confusion until State Acts are updated). The local Magistrate hearing an AVO may take into account the Federal Legislation as superior to State legislation.

4AB Definition of family violence etc.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, family violence means violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the persons family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful.
(2) Examples of behaviour that may constitute family violence include (but are not limited to):
    (a) an assault; or
    (b) a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour; or
    (c ) stalking; or
    (d) repeated derogatory taunts; or
    (e) intentionally damaging or destroying property; or
    (f) intentionally causing death or injury to an animal; or
    (g) unreasonably denying the family member the financial autonomy that he or she would otherwise have had; or
    (h) unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominantly dependent on the person for financial support; or
    (i) preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture; or
    (j) unlawfully depriving the family member, or any member of the family members family, of his or her liberty.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.

(4) Examples of situations that may constitute a child being exposed to family violence include (but are not limited to) the child:
   (a) overhearing threats of death or personal injury by a member of the childs family towards another member of the childs family; or
   (b) seeing or hearing an assault of a member of the childs family by another member of the childs family; or
   (c ) comforting or providing assistance to a member of the childs family who has been assaulted by another member of the childs family; or
   (d) cleaning up a site after a member of the childs family has intentionally damaged property of another member of the childs family; or
   (e) being present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault of a member of the childs family by another member of the childs family.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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