Family Law > Child Abuse and Neglect > Stopping Child Abuse Using the Domestic Violence Act
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Stopping Child Abuse Using the Domestic Violence Act

The Domestic Violence Act covers domestic violence, sexual abuse, economic abuse and emotional and psychological abuse. This Act covers people who have or had a domestic relationship – for example children, partners, ex-partners, parents, etc. The Children’s Act says any correctional official, dentist, homeopath, immigration official, labour inspector, legal practitioner, medical practitioner, midwife, minister of religion, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, religious leader, social service professional, social worker, speech therapist, teacher, traditional health practitioner, traditional leader or member of staff or volunteer worker at a partial care facility, drop-in centre or child and youth care must report child abuse immediately to the police or a designated child protection organisation. It is an offence not to report child abuse.

(See: The Domestic Violence Act)

The following people can apply for a Protection Order under the Domestic Violence Act to stop someone abusing a child:

  • Family members
  • Parents of a child or people responsible for a child
  • A child under the age of 18, without the help of a parent or guardian
  • Any person, including a health service provider, police officer, social worker, teacher, neighbour, friend, relative, minister, who has a material interest (not just being a busybody) in a child’s wellbeing

The Domestic Violence Act says if a person that has a material interest in the wellbeing of a child and believes that the child (under 18 years) is being abused they don’t have to wait for the child to give consent to apply for a Protection Order they can bring the application for the Protection Order themselves. It is enough if the person believes that the child is being abused.
(See: Problem 3: Getting a Protection Order)

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