Domestic Violence stirs up a lot of emotionally charged opinions. It’s helpful to define very clearly what we’re talking about when we use a term. The word “violence” in our culture generally implies the use of physical force to cause harm. According to Queensland Law it has a broader definition then just physical harm.
This is what the law says…
DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE PROTECTION ACT 2012 – SECT 8
Meaning of domestic violence
8 Meaning of domestic violence
“Domestic violence” means behaviour by a person (the
“first person” ) towards another person (the
“second person” ) with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that—
(a) is physically or sexually abusive; or
(b) is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
(c) is economically abusive; or
(d) is threatening; or
(e) is coercive; or
(f) in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1) , domestic violence includes the following behaviour—
(a) causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so;
(b) coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so;
(c) damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so;
(d) depriving a person of the person’s liberty or threatening to do so;
(e) threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child of the person, or someone else;
(f) threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person to whom the behaviour is directed;
(g) causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal, whether or not the animal belongs to the person to whom the behaviour is directed, so as to control, dominate or coerce the person;
(h) unauthorised surveillance of a person;
(i) unlawfully stalking a person.
(3) A person who counsels or procures someone else to engage in behaviour that, if engaged in by the person, would be domestic violence is taken to have committed domestic violence.
(4) To remove any doubt, it is declared that, for behaviour mentioned in subsection (2) that may constitute a criminal offence, a court may make an order under this Act on the basis that the behaviour is domestic violence even if the behaviour is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(5) In this section—
“coerce” , a person, means compel or force a person to do, or refrain from doing, something.
“unauthorised surveillance” , of a person, means the unreasonable monitoring or tracking of the person’s movements, activities or interpersonal associations without the person’s consent, including, for example, by using technology.
Examples of surveillance by using technology—
• reading a person’s SMS messages
• monitoring a person’s email account or internet browser history
• monitoring a person’s account with a social networking internet site
• using a GPS device to track a person’s movements
• checking the recorded history in a person’s GPS device
On the Queenland Courts website it offers a little more description on each of these points.
Behaviours that are domestic violence
Domestic violence includes a wide range of behaviours that control or dominate someone, or cause them to fear for their personal safety or wellbeing. These behaviours may include:
- physical or sexual abuse—punching, hitting, choking, or threatening to punch or hit, forcing a person to participate in sexual acts, damaging someone’s property or threatening to damage property, including hurting or threatening to hurt pets
- emotional or psychological abuse—stalking, repeated text messaging, making insulting comments, calling someone names, blackmailing or extorting, preventing contact with family and/or friends, controlling someone’s appearance, putting them down, threatening to expose their sexual orientation
- economic abuse—denying, withholding, controlling or misusing money or property, or threatening to do so
- threatening behaviour—saying things or acting in a way to make someone feel afraid, threatening to commit suicide or self-harm, stalking
- coercive behaviour—forcing, intimidating or manipulating a person to do things they don’t want to do, such as sign a contract (e.g. for a loan) or a legal document giving another person power over their affairs (e.g. power of attorney).
Domestic violence extends to children seeing violence, like their parent being hurt, being called names, things being broken or police arriving.
More info here: