The Domestic Violence Act (“DVA”), originally enacted in 1996 and amended in 2004, aims to provide protections for women and children domestic violence situations. It gives courts the power to grant protection and occupation orders. Applications for such orders can be brought by the victim or, in the case of a child, a parent, guardian, constable, or social worker can bring an application on the child’s behalf. The DVA sets forth the limitations imposed by protective orders, and it states courts can grant such an order if “it is satisfied that” the individual against whom the order is sought used or threatened to use violence, mental or physical, against the person seeking the order. Even without that showing, the court can grant a protective order if it finds the order necessary for the protection of the person “having regard to all circumstances.” The court can grant protection and occupation orders on an ex parte basis if the court deems it necessary. Punishment for violating an order is a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a maximum of six months, or both.
Domestic Violence Act of 2004