It is a sad fact of life that violence within relationships is increasing as economic conditions and financial hardship place more pressure on families. There is no barrier of age, status or gender. It may take the form of physical or sexual abuse but may also take the form of one party exerting control over another.
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 has made a number of changes to the existing legislation. Importantly, the definition of Domestic Violence has been widened and is defined as follows:
Domestic violence means behaviour by a person towards another person with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that is:
- physically or sexually abusive;
- emotionally or psychologically abusive;
- economically abusive;
- coercive; or
- in any other way controls or dominates the person and causes them fear or discomfort.
Examples given in the Act include such things as coercing a person to engage in sexual activity; threatening a person with death or injury of the person, their child, or someone else; unauthorised surveillance of a person; unlawfully stalking a person.
There are many more examples in the Act of what constitutes Domestic Violence.
If you believe that you are a victim of domestic violence, you can discuss this with your Solicitor who can advise you on the steps to take to seek an Order to protect you.
If you are wondering what your rights are or whether to proceed, call us and we can advise you in this regard.