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Domestic Violence Is Not Just Physical Violence

Lara Tom
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06 May 2022

Respondents to an Application for Protection Order sometimes say "but I never physically hurt them".  Domestic violence is more than just physical violence and includes a variety of behaviours which are controlling, dominating, or cause a person to fear for their safety or wellbeing.

Under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, domestic violence includes:-

  • physical or sexual abuse - hurting or threatening to hurt someone, damaging or threatening to damage property, forcing a person to engage in sexual activity;
  • emotional or psychological abuse - threatening to commit suicide, excessive text messaging, stalking, controlling who a person talks to or their appearance, name calling, making abusive comments;
  • economic abuse - controlling or withholding money, or threatening to do so;
  • threatening behaviour - acting in a way to cause fear to another person;
  • coercive behaviour - acting in a controlling or intimidating way to force compliance.

Children named on a Protection Order

If a child is named on a Protection Order, that does not necessarily mean that the Respondent has hurt them physically.  It may mean that the child was present when the Respondent committed an act of domestic violence against the Aggrieved which could include behaviour such as threatening to harm them.

Get Advice

Determining whether behaviour is domestic violence is dependent on the circumstances of each individual case.  You should obtain legal advice should you want assistance in filing, or responding to, an Application for Protection Order.  Our team has extensive experience in this area and we invite you to make an appointment today to discuss your circumstances.