What is family violence?

domestic-violenceWhat is violence?

Family violence – means violence, threats or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of a person’s family, or causes a family member to be fearful.

A child is exposed to family violence even if the child sees or hears family violence.

The Family Law Act gives examples of what violence is, and they include:

  • Being assaulted which can include being pushed, slapped, punched and even threatened with physical violence
  • Being sexual assaulted or other sexually abusive behaviour
  • Being stalked
  • Having derogatory taunts said to you
  • Having someone intentionally damage or destroy property
  • Having someone cause injury or death to an animal
  • Being denied financial independence to conduct your daily affairs or having financial support taken away so that you can’t meet your daily needs.
  • Being denied access to your friends, family, church and/or your culture
  • Being denied of your liberty by being confined at home with no right to come and go.

Family violence may also amount to abuse of a child.

Child abuse means:

♦ An assault, including a sexual assault, of the child; or

♦ When a person involves a child in a sexual activity with themselves or another person in which the child is used, directly or indirectly, as a sexual object by them or the other person, and where there is an unequal power in the relationship between the child and the first person; or   
♦ Causing the child to suffer serious psychological harm, including (but not limited to) when that harm is caused by the child being subjected to, or exposed to, family violence; or

♦ Serious neglect of the child.

Court orders to stop violence

If you experience violence or fear violence in a domestic or family relationship you can apply for an order from the court to help stop that violence. Even if you are waiting for your matter to be heard by a court you can get an interim or urgent order very quickly which will have the same effect. The police may also press charges against the person who is being violent. Each Australian state has its own laws regarding violence orders and the actual name of the orders varies between states.

The video below talks a little about this:

An AVO made in any state or territory of Australia can be registered for enforcement in any other state or territory if the need arises. You may be able to apply for another type of order for your protection if you are afraid of a person with whom you are not in a relationship. In every state and territory, a person who breaches an AVO commits a criminal offence. This may lead to them being arrested. In NSW a conviction for breaching an AVO can lead to a fine of $5,500 and/or imprisonment for up to two years. The courts take a very dim view of people who breach AVO’s.

If you need information, support or help

Call: 1 800 RESPECT (1 800 737 732)

If you don’t feel comfortable about using the phone and want to talk to them online-

Use this LINK

These services are available at all times. (24/7)

If  RIGHT NOW  you are in anyway worried about you or your children’s immediate safety or are being threatened with violence:

Call: 000 (24/7)