Domestic Violence is the term used for repeated use of violent and abusive tactics to maintain power and control over the other person in a relationship. Examples of domestic violence include the following:
♦ physical abuse (eg pushing, hitting, slapping, choking or injuring with objects or weapons)
♦ verbal abuse (eg screaming, shouting, name calling, using sarcasm, criticism or put downs)
♦ emotional or psychological abuse (eg any behaviour that threatens, intimidates or humiliates – destroying property, reckless driving of a vehicle with the victim in the car, threatening to injure or kill the victim, threatening suicide, or self harm so as to intimidate, frighten or control the victim)
♦ sexual abuse (eg any forced or unwanted sexual contact or activity)
♦ controlling behaviours (eg dictating what the victim does, who she sees and talks to, where she goes, preventing her from working or having any money of her own, preventing her from having contact with family or friends, reading texts or emails, or using GPS to track the victim’s movements)
♦ economic or financial abuse (eg withholding or threatening to withhold money, being refused or denied access to money resulting in the victim being financially dependent on their partner)
♦ spiritual or cultural abuse (eg ridiculing or putting down the victim’s beliefs and culture, preventing her from practising her religion or from participating in significant cultural ceremonies)
♦ stalking (eg worrying or frightening the victim by repeatedly watching her, following her, making persistent phone calls, sending texts, emails or mail)
If you are experiencing domestic violence or have fears for your safety or your children’s safety, we recommend you consider making a safety plan. You should also protect your digital safety.
If your spouse has been violent towards you, you may be able to get an order under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act which orders your spouse to leave the home. You may also be able to get an exclusive use and occupation order and/or a restraining order from the family law courts. If you are renting, you may also be able to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to be recognised as a tenant instead of your spouse.
The main way of getting legal protection from domestic violence is to apply to the Magistrates Court for a protection order under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act.
To obtain a protection order, you must be able to show to the court the following:
♦ there is a relevant relationship. Relationships include spousal relationship, intimate personal relationship, family relationship and informal care relationship
♦ there has been a past act of domestic violence (eg wilful injury, damage to property, intimidation or harassment, indecent behaviour, threats to injure you or damage your property)
♦ an order is necessary or desirable
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Economic or Financial Abuse
Spiritual or Cultural Abuse