Domestic Violence Offences

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The courts impose serious penalties and you will have ongoing ramifications for breaching a domestic violence order. You should get legal advice from us if you have been charged with a breach of a domestic violence order. Book an appointment now.

What the prosecution needs to prove

  1. A domestic violence order has been made against the accused who is named as respondent in the order, and
  2. The defendant–
    • was present in court when the order was made; or
    • has been served with a copy of the order; or
    • has been told by a police officer (in any way, including, for example, by telephone, email, SMS message, a social networking site or other electronic means) about the existence of the order and told the respondent about the condition that it is alleged the defendant/respondent contravened, andThe accused contravened the order.
  3. What is the meaning of Domestic violence?Domestic violence is defined in section 8 (1) of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to include behaviour by a person (the first person) towards another person (the second person) with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that is –
    • Physically or sexually abusive; or
    • Emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
    • Economically abusive; or
    • Threatening; or
    • Coercive; or
    • In any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for their safety of wellbeing or for that of someone else.
Domestic-violence- offencesArtboard-2

Subsection (2) expands on the definition by providing a non‐exhaustive list of behaviours that constitute domestic violence including –

  • causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so;
  • coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so;
  • damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so;
  • depriving a person of the person’s liberty or threatening to do so;
  • threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child of the person, or someone else;
  • threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person to whom the behaviour is directed;
  • 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;
  • unauthorised surveillance of a person;
  • unlawfully stalking a person.

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


What is a relevant relationship?

Section 13 defines a relevant relationship as: –

(a) an intimate personal relationship; or
(b) a family relationship; or
(c) an informal care relationship.

What is an intimate personal relationship?

Section 14 defines an intimate personal relationship as:-

(a) a spousal relationship; or
(b) an engagement relationship; or
(c) a couple relationship.

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