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Brendan's experience

Brendan’s partner, Nora, discovers that she is pregnant. This accelerates the pattern of coercion and control that Brendan has been displaying over a long period of time.

Nora is aware that Brendan grew up in a violent household where his grandfather regularly physically assaulted his grandmother, mother and aunt.

Brendan stops Nora from leaving the house and says that the government will cancel her visa if she complains.

Current

  1. Brendan has started to physically assault Nora. One night and despite her limited English, Nora is so desperate that she calls the police. The police, who have not received any recent training in family violence, arrive and interview the couple together. Brendan is very articulate and denies hitting Nora. Nora is scared and doesn’t say anything. The police leave visibly irritated. Brendan physically assaults Nora again.
  2. Terrified, Nora leaves the house. Brendan drinks heavily, destroys her clothes, goes to find her and crashes his car. He is arrested and spends the night in the cells. In the morning he is released. As he is not identified as a family violence perpetrator, there is no follow up or referral.
  3. Nora goes into labour. Brendan is drunk and is refused entry to the ward. He becomes abusive and the police are called. He is arrested and released again. Prior to going in to labour, Nora made a successful application for an interim intervention order. The following day, Brendan is served with the interim order by police, but is given no verbal explanation of it. Brendan does not read well.
  4. Brendan breaches the intervention order by going to the house he rents with Nora. Police attend and arrest him. He is given bail on the condition he engages with support services. He follows up on a few of the referrals he is provided, but  does not have a case manager to engage or connect him. He is placed on a number of waiting lists, the longest of which is five months. When he finally gets a place, he attends, but does not engage.

Brendan, a perpetrator

Future

  1. The police who attend have recently undergone family violence training in the Centre of Learning. They interview Brendan and Nora separately. The police arrange an interpreter for Nora and she feels supported to disclose the violence and discuss her safety fears. Brendan is arrested and charged. He is also served with a Family Violence Safety Notice. The police explain separately to both Brendan and Nora (using an interpreter) the nature and purpose of a Family Violence Safety Notice (including the behaviours that constitute family violence), to confirm their understanding.
  2. The police arrest Brendan and hold him on remand overnight. He receives legal advice in the morning and is brought before a magistrate. The magistrate grants bail on the condition that Brendan is provided with intensive case management support and complies with the Family Violence Safety Notice, or any future intervention order that is made.
  3. Brendan’s case manager arranges accommodation, legal assistance and assessments for mental health, drug and alcohol, parenting and other relevant services. Any intervention offered to Brendan is done so with the goal of reducing the risk to Nora and their child. Brendan builds a rapport with his case manager who reinforces that family violence is unacceptable and that it is Brendan’s responsibility to stop these behaviours.
  4. When Brendan appears before the court, represented by his lawyer, the criminal charges and the intervention order matter are heard together. Brendan is placed on a Community Correction Order (CCO) with judicial monitoring, supervision and other assessment and treatment conditions. The magistrate hears from both Brendan and the police. The magistrate speaks directly to Brendan and he leaves the court understanding his obligations and the consequences of failing to meet them. He continues the work he has begun, assisted by his case manager to address his violent and controlling behaviours.

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