What is domestic and family violence – legal definition

The Domestic and Family Violence Act, defines domestic and family violence as any of the following conduct committed by a person against someone with whom the person is in a domestic relationship:

  1. conduct causing harm including sexual assault
  2. damaging property including the injury or death of an animal
  3. intimidation
  4. stalking
  5. economic abuse
  6. attempting or threatening to commit conduct mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e).

Domestic and family violence is any type of abusive behaviour used to gain and maintain control over another person.  Domestic and family violence involves ongoing controlling and abusive behaviour.                                                                       

A domestic relationship may include marriage, de facto, boyfriends/girlfriends, same sex, members of immediate and/or extended family according to Aboriginal tradition or contemporary social practice, members of a household and/or people involved in a dependent carers relationship.

Types of domestic and family violence include verbal and emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, social isolation, financial control or isolation, and physical and sexual violence in a domestic situation.

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Last updated: 30 November 2017