Domestic violence offence is defined as personal violence offence committed by a person against another person with whom the person who commits the offence has or has had a domestic relationship.
The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 No 80 includes even non-relatives so long as the violence is committed against one with whom there is a domestic relationship. Still, when we speak of domestic violence what we usually have in mind are the abuses committed against spouses and children.
According to the law a person has a domestic relationship with another person if the person:
(a) is or has been married to the other person, or
(b) is or has been a de facto partner of that other person, or
(c) has or has had an intimate personal relationship with the other person, whether or not the intimate relationship involves or has involved a relationship of a sexual nature, or
(d) is living or has lived in the same household as the other person, or
(e) is living or has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person and at the same time as the other person (not being a facility that is a correctional centre within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 or a detention centre within the meaning of the Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987), or
(f) has or has had a relationship involving his or her dependence on the on-going paid or unpaid care of the other person, or
(g) is or has been a relative of the other person, or
(h) in the case of an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander, is or has been part of the extended family or kin of the other person according to the Indigenous kinship system of the person’s culture.
The violence committed may be in the form of physical harm; verbal abuse; economic abuse; emotional and psychological abuse; sexual assault; threatening and intimidating behaviour.
A spouse may, for instance, report a domestic violence offense if he/she is not given enough money or not allowed to have a say in the family’s finances. A lot of people are unaware that this is a form of domestic violence.
There are still a lot of unsolved and unreported domestic violence cases out there. According to the statistics more than 60% of the domestic violence cases are unreported. The law is already in place but there can be no enforcement of the law if no one speaks out against the abuse.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.