It’s not just physical: Domestic violence in family law


In recent times there has been an increased awareness about domestic and family violence and its prevalence within our society.

With an ambassador like Rosie Batty there is a greater awareness that domestic and family violence goes beyond physical violence and encompasses many types of behaviour.

Domestic or family violence are now recognised as encompassing the following types of behaviour:

  • Physical Assault: including kicking, hitting, pushing, slapping, chocking or the use of weapons.
  • Sexual Assault: being forced against your will to participate in sexual activities.
  • Emotional Abuse: making you feel worthless; criticising your personality; criticising your looks; commenting negatively about the way you dress; constantly being put down by your partner; your partner threatening to hurt you, your children or someone you love.
  • Verbal Abuse: including yelling, shouting, name-calling and swearing at you.
  • Social Abuse: inhibiting you from seeing friends and family; taking steps to isolate you socially or geographically from other people in your life.
  • Damaging Property: including damaging furniture, house items or personal items in order to threaten or intimidate you.
  • Financial Abuse: taking control of money; not giving you enough money to survive on; forcing you to hand over your money; not letting you have a say in how the household funds are spent.

The Family Court recognises family violence as “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the persons family (family member) or causes the family member to be fearful”. The definition then goes on to list a series of examples that can be deemed as being domestic violence and examples of situations that may constitute a child being exposed to domestic violence.

Although domestic violence is experienced by both men and women, women are more likely to be the victims of violence than men. The Australian Bureau of statistics identified in 2013 that around one-in-five Australian women and one-in-twenty Australian men experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Of these, half of men and one-quarter of women never told anyone about the violence.

Domestic violence is a common issue in marital separation. In some instances, the breakdown of a relationship can be a trigger for one party to become violent towards the other or for violence to escalate, and in other instances domestic violence can be prevalent throughout the relationship.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence you are not alone, or if you are concerned that you may be at risk of domestic violence, it is important that you seek assistance.

Please contact our office on (02) 9523 5535 for further information or call the Domestic Violence Hotline which is available 24 hours a day on 1800 656 463.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply