What Is Domestic Violence?

The Domestic & Family Violence Protection Act 2012

The Meaning of Domestic Violence

(1)  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 or financially 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 well-being 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 behavior 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 behavior is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(5)  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
  • unlawful stalking see the Criminal Code, section 359B.

For further details, please refer to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act Qld 2012.

For information about the recent changes please refer to the Department of Child Safety, Youth & Women website.

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