Contravene Family Counselling Order

– section 130 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008

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?

This offence carries a maximum fine of 10 penalty units (around $1,600).