Case study – Judy’s Story

Judy*, in her 70s, lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. She has two adult children, Rosemary and Jeremy. Three years ago Jeremy moved back in with Judy after the breakdown of his own relationship. He shares the care of his six-year-old daughter Claire with his former partner.

At the time, Jeremy did not work and he became verbally abusive towards Judy when she suggested he look for a job and contribute to the household expenses.

Judy found Jeremy’s behaviour increasingly threatening but because she was concerned for Claire’s welfare she was reluctant to take any action. As Jeremy’s behaviour escalated Judy no longer saw her other grandchildren or had friends come to visit.

Judy contacted Seniors Rights Victoria with the assistance of her daughter. The lawyer and advocate at Seniors Rights Victoria advised Judy that she could apply for a family violence intervention order. Judy had the process for making an application explained in detail and was given the contact details for the Applicant Support Worker at the Court. Both the lawyer and advocate offered ongoing support and representation for Judy throughout the court process. The advocate also helped Judy access social and health support services in her area so she could reconnect with her community.

Judy made an application for a family violence intervention order and was granted an interim order. The police served a copy of the order on Jeremy that evening. Judy found the police who attended very helpful and reported that they spent time with Jeremy explaining housing options and other help available to him. One of the police officers kept in contact with Judy to keep her informed of Jeremy’s whereabouts and update her on whether he had accessed support services. This support from police helped to ease some of Judy’s concerns about her son’s wellbeing and it has also eased some of her anxiety over the action she had been forced to take against her adult son.

The order permitted telephone contact between Judy and Jeremy. Judy continued to have regular time with Claire.

*Personal details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy.