The legal system is often the only avenue that family violence victims have to seek justice and seek measures to prevent future harm. When family violence occurs, it is the victim’s right to seek legal action against their attacker. However, the legal system is not always built to protect victims of family violence. Many of the legal defences a defendant may face in a court case can also serve as a shield to help protect family violence victims from harsh penalties. The following are common legal defences against family violence as per Family Violence Lawyer Melbourne.

Parental Authority

In many cases, the alleged victim may be a minor who is in the care of their parent or legal guardian. While this may seem like an obvious reason for defence, some family violence victims are hesitant to report the abuser due to fear of losing their parent/guardian. In most cases, a minor who has been abused by their parent will be given the option to have their case heard in family court. The family court is usually the best place to handle custody, visitation, and other issues related to a child’s care.

Family Violence Lawyer Melbourne
Family fighting outdoors

As such, a minor who has reported abuse by their parent may not want to report their case to the police. If a family violence victim is under the age of 18, the family court will often be the only place where they can obtain protection from their abuser. In many cases, a child will not be able to testify in court against their parent. This is because a child cannot testify in court against a parent. Therefore, they may fear that they will be punished if they report their family violence case.


Self-defence is one of the most common defences raised by family violence defendants. If a defendant can show that their actions were grounded in self-defence, they may not be held accountable for breaking the law. Self-defence is rooted in the idea that each person has the right to protect themselves from harm. If a defendant can show that they were attacked by the family violence victim, then they may be deemed justified in defending themselves from harm. If the family violence victim was wielding a weapon, the defendant might be able to show that the weapon was dangerous and that the defendant was in danger of being harmed.

No Consent

Consent is an important legal defence in many cases, including cases of family violence. Consent is defined as permission to an act. Therefore, if an alleged victim did not give consent, their partner may not have broken the law. If the alleged victim did not want to engage in the act that violated the law, they might still be able to show that they did not consent. This may include the fact that they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It may also include the fact that they suffered from mental illness. If the family violence victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they might not understand what they were doing. They may also feel disoriented or confused due to their illness. This may lead them to believe that they did not freely consent to the act.

Mistake of Fact

A mistake of fact is defined as an incorrect belief about the law. A mistake of fact may protect a defendant from being found guilty in a court case. A mistake of fact may occur if the defendant’s attorney can show that the defendant believed that a law did not apply to their case. For example, the defendant may not have known that a specific statute covers their situation. They may have also believed that their partner’s behaviour was normal for couples who are in a relationship. This is often the case for family violence victims who are often told that what is happening to them is normal. Mistakes of fact may occur when a defendant has been misinformed by the family violence victim.

Other Legal Defenses

There are many other common legal defences against family violence. An attorney may be able to present one or more of these defences in a courtroom. Other common legal defences include: An alleged victim who is under the age of 18 may be unable to testify in court. A minor’s attorney may be able to show that the minor did not want to testify. Even if a victim is willing to testify, a judge may be reluctant to convict a defendant if the victim did not testify. As such, a judge may be more likely to dismiss a case if a family violence victim is unwilling to testify. If a defendant does not have a criminal record, they may be able to convince a judge that they should not be held accountable for their actions. This may include showing that the defendant has a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to control their actions.


The Family Violence Lawyer Melbourne is often unhelpful in protecting family violence victims. In many cases, victims lack the financial resources or the legal experience to effectively represent themselves in court. Unfortunately, this often leads victims to drop their cases due to fear of the legal system. If you are the victim of family violence, you may be hesitant to report your case to the police. This is understandable. As such, you may want to consider pursuing a civil case against the perpetrator. A civil case does not involve the threat of a criminal conviction. However, it does allow you to seek financial compensation for your damages.