Cho 34 lived with her partner, their baby and her ten year old son from a previous relationship. Cho’s partner would often make horrible threats to her. In one instance, they were driving in the country and he said that if he drove the car off the cliff and jumped out at the last minute she would die and police would think it was
Cho was forbidden to use certain household appliances, her partner claiming they were his. He also told her if she left him, he would find her and have her sent back to her homeland and he would get custody of the baby, even though Cho is an Australian citizen. Cho was scared and apprehensive about taking any action. She had a job but did not have the resources to pack up the children and leave.
Our family violence lawyer worked through the options with Cho. It was decided to apply for an intervention order that would remove her partner from the home. An appointment was made with the Court, however prior to the appointment, the violence escalated and it was no longer safe for Cho and the children to stay in the house. Following discussions with our lawyer it was agreed that it would be safer if police applied for the intervention order. Cho’s partner works in IT and had set up her phone – he knew her contacts, had access to her texts and could track her – making any communication risky.
As Cho had never been physically assaulted, our lawyer was concerned that the sense of urgency may not be immediately apparent to the police. In light of this, Cho was accompanied to the police station and our lawyer argued strongly for the police to apply for an intervention order as the risk to Cho was significant. The police agreed and an application was put before an after-hours magistrate who granted an interim order that would remove her partner from the home on a temporary basis. Emergency accommodation was organised for Cho and the children pending service of the order. Cho was able to move back into the home later that day. She has since had to attend court on two occasions with her partner finally consenting to the final order.
Cho now has a job and has created some independence for herself, including moving to a new home. With support and practical advice she was able to take that decisive scary step. She still faces many challenges but at least she isn’t being threatened by her partner anymore.
This outcome was achieved because the Maternal Child & Health nurse sowed the seeds with Cho that she actually could do something to improve her life and then got her to speak with our visiting lawyer at the Health Centre.