1.1.F.15 Family violence

Definition

As defined in the Family Law Act 1975 section 4AB, family violence means violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person's family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful. This includes but is not limited to:

  • an assault, or
  • a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour, or
  • stalking, or
  • repeated derogatory taunts, or
  • intentionally damaging or destroying property, or
  • intentionally causing death or injury to an animal, or
  • unreasonably denying the family member the financial autonomy that he or she would otherwise have had, or
  • unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominantly dependent on the person for financial support, or
  • preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture, or
  • unlawfully depriving the family member, or any member of the family member's family, of his or her liberty.

In addition, a child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence. This includes but is not limited to the child:

  • overhearing threats of death or personal injury by a member of the child's family towards another member of the child's family, or
  • seeing or hearing an assault of a member of the child's family by another member of the child's family, or
  • comforting or providing assistance to a member of the child's family who has been assaulted by another member of the child's family, or
  • cleaning up a site after a member of the child's family has intentionally damaged property of another member of the child's family, or
  • being present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault of a member of the child's family by another member of the child's family.

Act reference: Family Law Act 1975 section 4AB Definition of family violence

Last reviewed: 16 May 2016