What is family violence?
Violence is any A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. that makes another person feel fearful and unsafe. Family violence can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse. It can include threats, damage to property, and injury to animals. It can include publishing on the internet and other electronic communications. Essentially, family violence is any form of threatening, coercive, controlling or dominating behaviour that makes a family member fear for their safety or wellbeing or for the safety or wellbeing of another person. Family violence is mostly, but not exclusively, perpetrated by men against women and children.
Definition of family violence in legislation
‘Family violence’ is defined in section 5 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) (‘FVP Act’). The FVP Act (ss 5–7) gives examples of the different forms of family violence.
Child abuse is family violence
In respect of a child, child abuse is a form of family violence and includes behaviour that causes a child to hear, to A person who can provide direct information based on their own knowledge about a relevant fact, and appears in court to give evidence about it. In some cases a witness may provide an affidavit or deposition setting out their evidence if they are not able to attend court., or to otherwise be exposed to the effects of family violence.
Examples of such behaviour are listed in section 5(1)(b) of the FVP Act. These include overhearing threats of physical abuse, seeing or The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. an assault of a family member by another family member, comforting or providing assistance to a family member who has been physically abused, cleaning up a site after property has been intentionally damaged, and being present when police officers attend a family violence incident.
Cases where children are the direct victims of child abuse (e.g. they are the victims of physical or sexual abuse) are dealt with by the relevant state authority and in the Children’s An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. (see Chapter 1.4: The Children’s Court).