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Contravene Family Counselling Order

It is an offence under section 130 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) to fail to attend counselling when ordered to by a Court.

A Court may order that a person attend counselling to increase his/her accountability for the violence used against a family member and to encourage the person to change their behaviour.
What is the legal definition of Contravene Family Counselling Order?
This charge is legally defined as the contravention of a family counselling order under section 130 of the Act, without reasonable excuse, by a person who was subjected to such order.

Examples of Contravene Family Counselling Order
  • Not attending a counselling session with an approved counsellor when ordered to by a Court
Legislation
The offence of Contravene Family Counselling Order is governed by section 130 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008.

Elements: When can a person be found guilty of this offence?
The accused, as the respondent, may be found guilty of this charge if:

  • Under section 129 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, the Court is given a report that counselling is needed
  • Respondent has been ordered to attend for family counselling under section 130, and
  • Respondent without reasonable excuse contravenes the order

The following defences are available for this charge:

  • Reasonable excuse
  • Lack of intent
  • Impossibility
  • Factual error
  • Insufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offence
Questions in cases like this
  • Were you ordered to attend counselling?
  • Did you in fact attend counselling?
  • Is there a lawful reason why you could not attend counselling?

The offence of Contravene Family Counselling Order (s130 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008) carries a maximum fine of 10 penalty units (around $1,600).