A 34-year-old man has told a Ballarat magistrate he was sorry for assaulting his pregnant partner in front of their children.
Jarrod Brown pleaded guilty to two unlawful assault charges at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The court was told Brown became angry towards his partner, who was 12 weeks pregnant, on September 30.
Their child and his partner's child were present at the altercation.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Aimee Heal said Brown pushed his partner in the chest before pushing her hard in the stomach.
She said the victim went to her bedroom to phone her parents, but Brown followed her and the assault continued. He pulled her hair and ears before picking up a wooden box.
Senior Constable Heal said the accused threw the box, but his partner moved, and it hit her five-year-old son in the cheek, causing him to fall to the ground.
The victim phoned her parents who then phoned triple-0.
"She feared for her safety and the safety of her children," Senior Constable Heal said.
Brown fled the home and he was arrested two days later after police issued a warrant.
He told police the altercation started over alcohol. He had consumed 15 pre-mix cans during the day, but did not feel drunk.
Brown told police he felt frightened after the box he threw hit the child. He told the court the relationship with his partner had ended.
Brown said he was remorseful and was involved in a number of programs, including the men's behavioural change program.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson told Brown he accepted his remorse, but said family violence was a serious offence.
"There is a focus of the law on family violence. The message needs to be that it won't be tolerated," Mr Robinson said.
"The message needs to be that men who behave like this will be dealt with severely."
The court was told Brown did not have a criminal past. He was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order with 80 hours of community work.
Mr Robinson reminded Brown his punishment was similar to a suspended jail sentence.