Have you been the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault?. Did you know that there are now no time limits for Compensation for Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Victims who were victims under the age of 18?
An Important Court decision by the Supreme Court of Victoria has major implications for all of Australia. The Supreme Court refused an Application by the Victorian State Government to strike out a claim by a woman on behalf of herself and her 3 children against Victorian Police. The lady claimed Victoria Police were guilty of negligence because they failed to prevent numerous breaches of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders by her ex-partner, the father of her children. As a result of the breaches the lady and her 3 children have suffered ongoing psychological harm.
The Court accepted that it is arguable police could owe a duty of care to specific victims of domestic violence to protect them from preventable harm. This is an important decision because to date no Australian Court has determined the question of whether Police owe a duty of care to victims of domestic violence. Finding a duty of care is the first step in a civil action for damages in negligence.
Every year more than 100,000 victims of domestic violence take out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. These orders impose conditions on the perpetrators behaviour and victims rely on Police policies and procedures that are focused on victim safety – police failure to follow them can have tragic results.
For the lady and the 3 children, the subject of this case, the consequences of the alleged failures by the Police resulted in years of continued violence perpetrated by her ex partner, despite 4 Apprehended Violence Orders being taken against him. She alleges the Police know or should have known about the orders.
The case is still be to be determined and the Court will have to decide if the Police owe a duty of care to victims of domestic violence. The Government of Victoria will be arguing that the police do not. The position of the victim is that she alleges that the Police failed to follow their own training and procedures when they failed to enforce the Court Orders. Please watch this space.
If you have been the victim of sexual or domestic violence and want to know where you stand, please feel free to contact Peter Moore of Brazel Moore Compensation Lawyers on 4324 7699. A Claim for Compensation may be able to be made and there is no time limitation for people who were victims prior to their attaining the age of 18 years. Call now!