Domestic violence is unacceptable. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon and can happen to anyone. Many victims of domestic violence don’t report it for reasons such as shame, economic dependence, stigma or safety. Others may be unsure as to the kinds of behaviour that would be considered abuse.
Forms of Abuse
Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) domestic violence can take many forms including, but not limited to, the following:
- physical abuse;
- sexual assault or sexually abusive behaviour;
- verbal abuse;
- spiritual abuse;
- social abuse such as isolation from family and friends;
- damaging or destroying property;
- harming an animal;
- economic control.
Family Violence Intervention Order
Also known as apprehended violence order (AVO), a family violence intervention order can be put in place to protect a person from an abusive family member (the respondent). If the respondent breaks the conditions of an order, the police can charge them with a criminal offence. You can apply for an intervention order from your local magistrate’s court.