Family Violence is defined by the Family Law Act 1975 as:
“violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family or causes the family member to be fearful.”
Examples of family violence include:
- An assault, or sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour
- Repeated derogatory taunts
- Intentionally damaging or destroying property
- Intentionally causing death or injury to an animal
- Unreasonably denying financial autonomy or financial support needed
- Preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture
- Unlawfully depriving a person of their liberty.
A child is deemed to have been exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.
Violence is gender neutral, and thereby encompasses abusive behaviour in both heterosexual and same sex relationships.