Points to take from this page:
You can get a criminal charge and a conviction for using swear words that you use on a daily basis with your ex partner.
I’d suggest that, in practice, this rule applies to males only.
I know that had I known that saying “cunt” or “cock” was breaking the law I would not have done so. It’s almost like there’s a bunch of laws in place just to trap blokes. Laws that were made by people who were born shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet, laws that have nothing to do with modern vernacular.
My Family Law Barrister was female. She told me that there’s a saying in the legal fraternity, “the humiliation of men”. It would seem that some portion of Lawyers and Barristers take enjoyment in seeing men charged with criminal offences that they didn’t see coming. Much like me.
It IS humiliating to find that you’re now a criminal after carefully not breaking the law for over half a century.
Sadly, it also makes a mockery of the DV statistics we’re reminded of on a nearly daily basis by the media.
It’s possible that statistically I’m a wife beater who has been charged with stalking and an AVO.
You can easily lose faith in law enforcement when you’ve been branded a criminal for using language that 96 per cent of Australians (including your ex partner) wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.
One Saturday night in July 2016 whilst sitting at home looking after the kids I received this SMS from Lea: My replies are in white. Read on and see what little you have to do to get a criminal charge…
I whipped out some quite angry texts and then drank some more delivering my final blow at 10.16pm. By 10.16 I was very drunk. Lea had said nothing during the entire one sided exchange. This is unquestionably the worst exchange that happened between us throughout the entire separation. There was no violence, no yelling. We had some tense SMS exchanges and then these ugly SMSs. If there had been any worse exchange my local police would have used it.The SMSs weren’t pretty but they weren’t in any way threatening. Typically the PINOP (Person In Need Of Protection) has to ask that you stop sending the SMSs before it’s considered stalking-or so I was told by a court reporter. They must have made a special allowance for me. 🙂
I was charged and convicted of Stalk/Intimidate on account, largely, of the SMSs above. There’s no doubt that receiving the AVO was the first step in towards a stalking charge. I doubt that many people realise that using language like that can lead to a criminal conviction. Below is part of the Magistrate’s summary. Note how she ignores the fact that I ended the conversation with a smiling Emoji.
From the Magistrate
FROM THE MAGISTRATE BEING FORCEFUL
I don’t get the numbering but the Prosecutor is trying to look generous after giving me a criminal record for swearing she points out that I’m of good character. What a champ!
I deliberately left the good character bit in 🙂 That has been my one and only criminal conviction and I’m in my 50s.
Note how the magistrate made no reference to the fact that Lea used the word “fuck” in her SMS to initiate the fight.
For the record Lea used to come home and tell me about the Soccer Coach’s cock all the time. Apparently he was quite adept at using his cock and she would tell me in as many words.
I use the word cunt often. I used foul language that we are both familiar with.
That seemed irrelevant in the magistrate’s summation. I was convicted as a criminal for using language that was common in our household.
Who’d have fuckin’ thought that swearing was a fuckin’ crime? At least, it’s a crime for men.
I appealed and went to The District Court.I had by now acquired no less than three psychologists reports on my mental state. I got the first one and my barrister wanted it changed, I later sacked that Barrister. In the District court the female prosecutor wanted me taken outside and burnt alive for public amusement etc. The male judge actually took a lunch recess to read all of the evidence and judged me guilty but recorded no conviction with a 12 month good behaviour bond. I went back to not having a criminal record.
Throughout the AVO/Stalking charge process I went through 2 Barristers and one Criminal lawyer, 2 psychologists and the better part of $20,000 in professional fees.
Wanna avoid a criminal charge? Don’t have a spare $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Avoid getting an AVO.