Domestic violence is a vastly under reported crime. Of the women who have experienced violence from a current partner, 39% have never sought advice or support and 80% have never contacted the Police. But on average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. This must stop. 

The definition of domestic and family violence is extremely broad. It’s important to know the warning signs and effects of domestic and family violence, not just for you, but for our community. 

Domestic and family violence means behaviour by a person towards another person that:- 

  • Is physically or sexually abusive; or
  • Is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or


  • Following a person when the person is out in public, including by vehicle or on foot;
  • Remaining outside a person’s residence or place of work;
  • Repeatedly contacting a person by telephone, email or social media without the persons consent;
  • Repeated derogatory taunts including racial taunts;
  • Threatening to disclose a person’s sexual orientation to family or friends;
  • Threatening to withhold medication
  • Preventing a person from keep connection with their family, friends or culture. 
    Is economically abusive;


  • Coercing a person to relinquish control over assets and income;
  • Removing or keeping a person’s property;
  • Disposing of property or threatening to dispose of property without permission or lawful excuse;
  • Preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment;
  • Coercing a person to claim Centrelink benefits;
  • Coercing a person to signa power of attorney;
  • Forcing a person to take out a long or credit card, or to act as guarantee.
  • Is threatening;
  • Is coercive;
  • In any other way controls or dominates and causes fear for safety or wellbeing, either to yourself or someone else.

Domestic violence also includes the following behaviour;

  • Causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so;
  • Coercing a person to engage in a sexual activity;
  • Damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so;
  • Depriving a person of their liberty;
  • Threatening a person with the death or injury of another person or animal;
  • Unauthorised stalking and surveillance of a person. 

This is not an exhaustive list of examples. If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence our office can assist. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the protection you have a fundamental right to and deserve. 

If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.