Domestic Violence in Australia

Criminal Law

Domestic violence, which males against women and children typically commit, is utterly deplorable in all of its forms. All states and territories in Australia, as well as the law, now recognize this. Domestic abuse occurs in many types of societies.  

In a broad sense, domestic violence refers to any situation in which a person is subjected to violence or other actions intended to dominate and control them in a personal or family setting. Even though domestic violence is frequently connected with physical violence, other behaviours may also be considered examples of domestic violence and includes abuse of any kind, including sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal, financial, stalking, isolation from society or location, and cruelty to animals. It is not discriminating and can go for years using physical violence and taking advantage of power differences. The most vulnerable individuals are known to be most affected by domestic violence, particularly youngsters who see or are exposed to it. Children may suffer long-term physical, psychological, and emotional trauma. In Australia, domestic and family violence is a problem, not only in New South Wales. Based on the study, data demonstrate this.  

What is Domestic Violence? 

“Domestic violence” is typically understood in Australian community studies to refer to relationship abuse, especially physical abuse between a male and female partner, most frequently committed by the male spouse. (A person who has or currently has an intimate relationship with another person is referred to as a “partner”; for example, a married or de facto partner.) However, abuse that takes place in any relationship inside households can also be referred to as “domestic violence” or “family violence” (including abuse of children, elders, or siblings). 

The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) governs domestic violence in NSW (the CDPV Act). Acts of physical abuse, intimidation, and stalking in a domestic relationship are all considered domestic violence under Section 16 of the Act. People who engage in this behaviour may face criminal prosecution or Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs). Section 5 of the statute defines a domestic relationship. This term is inclusive and includes roommates, relatives, caregivers, and partners. 

The CDPV Act was created to address domestic violence better and to address this issue. Senior police officers now have more authority because of this law. They can create and issue temporary AVOs as soon as domestic abuse is reported. Additionally, the law now permits suspected domestic abuse victims to testify in court by audio-visual link (AVL) rather than in person. The new legislation also recognizes AVOs from other states and territories as valid in NSW and gives them legal force. 

Possible Consequences of Domestic Violence 

ADVOs may have an impact on the assertion of parental rights in family law proceedings. According to Sections 60CC(3)(j) through (k) of the Family Law Act of 1975, a Family Court should take an ADVO and its surrounding circumstances into account. This disadvantages those who have an ADVO when they want unsupervised time with their kids or rights regarding their long-term decision-making (Parental Responsibility) if they split up with the other parent. A breach of an ADVO might have a disastrous impact on your child’s legal rights. People who are found guilty of domestic violence or violating an ADVO may get a fine, a jail sentence, or both. If someone is found guilty of a crime, they may also be charged criminally. 

Accordingly, it can appear on a national police check for potential employers. As many businesses want these checks, it can make it more difficult for you to get work. Additionally, issues might occur if recent police checks are needed at your current place of employment. 

Court hearings for domestic abuse cases are frequent. It is typical for the court to hear a case when the ADVO is violated because the offender assaulted the protected party in an ADVO that already exists. Even when the crimes overlap, police often charge the defendant individually for both the assault and the ADVO violation. When an ADVO is violated, the protected party is left without protection, the court’s authority is challenged, and the law is compromised. 

Family and Domestic Violence Leave 

Employees are granted five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leaves per year as of December 2018 in compliance with National Employment Standards and the Fair Work Act of 2009. The entire goal of the family and domestic violence leave is to help workers experiencing such abuse and ensure that all employees receive the same right, regardless of the industry or vocation under which they are employed. About $22 million is lost annually to the Australian economy due to domestic abuse against women. This price includes the impacts on the next generation’s children, which influence productivity, welfare spending, medical costs, and unemployment. The act also provides for the expense of the judicial system, burial expenses, victims’ compensation, and income tax losses for the deceased and their survivors. 

New Domestic Violence Law 

In NSW, new laws against domestic violence have been suggested. According to Mark Speakman, Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Abuse, these new regulations would allow accused victims of domestic violence to testify in closed courts or through an audio-visual connection from a distance. Currently, accused victims of domestic abuse are not allowed to testify in closed court or through AVL. To accomplish this, an application must first be submitted, and the Presiding Magistrate or Judge in court will decide whether to accept or reject it. The claimed victim must appear in court and provide testimony under oath while facing the accused and anybody else in the courtroom if they refuse. This may be and frequently is, a terrifyingly upsetting experience. If the new laws are approved, claimed victims can provide evidence remotely via AVL without having to submit an application. A jury deliberating on domestic violence charges may be directed, under further proposed new DV regulations, that any delay on the part of the claimed victim in filing a police report shouldn’t be interpreted as a false allegation against the accused. This is done to acknowledge the complexity of domestic violence, which is shown by Mr Speakman’s statement that “Domestic violence is a complicated crime due to the close nature of the relationships between victims and offenders.” 


Australian society has a high prevalence of laws against domestic violence. Anyone suspected of perpetrating such assault might face serious repercussions. In addition to physical acts of violence, domestic violence is a complicated pattern of behaviours that can also involve sexual assault and mental abuse, such as social exclusion and financial hardship. Despite the disagreement over terminology, it is evident that domestic violence affects many patients who attend clinical practice. Domestic abuse may have a negative impact on someone’s physical and mental health, so it’s essential to identify it and take immediate action to protect women and their children. There is no doubt that domestic violence is a serious public health issue. 

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