Domestic violence law change offers more protection

BETWEEN 2006 and 2012 there was an average of 23 deaths per year in Queensland associated with domestic violence, according to DVConnect statistics.

DVConnect also reported an average of 55,000 incoming calls that relate to domestic violence each year.

In 2012, the definition of domestic violence in Queensland was broadened to include "coercion", "control" and "causing fear" as well as emotional, psychological and economic abuse.

In the same year the definition in the Australian Family Law Act was also widened with the aim to better protect children and families from domestic violence.

The law also aims to protect children by prohibiting exposure to domestic violence and providing that overhearing threats of physical abuse or repeated derogatory or racial taunts is considered domestic violence.

Greenhalgh Pickard solicitor Shane Ulyatt
Greenhalgh Pickard solicitor Shane Ulyatt Photo Contributed

This broadening of the definition enables an aggrieved or authorised person to successfully obtain a temporary protection order or domestic violence order where there is domestic violence occurring.

A police officer is also able to apply for such an order where they know or suspect domestic violence. Unlike other orders made by a court involving violence, a domestic violence order made against a person is not a criminal conviction itself, but a breach of the terms of the order is a criminal offence.

The strengthening of the law aims to reduce the occurrences of domestic violence in Queensland and Australia and enable victims to successfully obtain protection under the law.


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