Explaining Domestic Violence and Common Assault(s) in Relationships

Domestic violence is often talked about in our society and on the news – but what does it look like in a legal sense? Here is a basic overview of how domestic violence and assault in relationships are categorised by the law.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence in NSW law is classified as an offence against someone you currently have or previously had a domestic relationship with. Domestic violence charges can cover a range of abuses including; verbal, physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, financial, harassment or stalking, spiritual or religious, reproductive and image-based.

A domestic relationship may take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Marriage
  • De facto partnerships
  • Intimate personal relationships
  • Family
  • Housemates
  • Carers

Whether you are currently in a relationship with this person or it is a past relationship (an ex) – it may still be considered a domestic relationship and thus, open to domestic violence allegations.

Physical assault in intimate relationships

Hitting, injuring or threatening a domestic partner or intimate relation is illegal. According to ABS data from the Personal Safety report in 2016, 17% of women and 6% of men had experienced partner violence since the age of 15. For women in particular, physical assaults were most likely to be perpetrated by a person they know and most likely to occur in their home.

There are many potentially violent acts which can fall under a domestic violence claim, such as:

  • Assault, attempted assault or threatening to assault
  • Destroying property (or threatening to do so)
  • Stalking, harassment or intimidation
  • Breaching an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)

If you or someone you know has been accused of a criminal offence relating to domestic violence, seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. You can reach the Powerhouse Legal team 24/7 on 1800 100 529.

Sexual assault in intimate relationships

Any non-consensual sexual acts may be considered sexual assault, irrespective of an intimate relationship between the persons concerned. The ABS data also noted that 87% of women in the survey experienced sexual assault by a male known to them. Consent is always an essential aspect of any sexual encounter – whether it has been engaged in before or is brand new.

To learn more about the basics of consent, read our previous blog. Or find out more on sexual assault in NSW in Part 1 and Part 2 of our series – What is Sexual Assault?

Professional advice when you need it most

Facing criminal charges of any kind can be difficult and confusing. Let the team at Powerhouse Law in Sydney help you navigate the legal and court systems. Our professional lawyers are experienced in criminal law – including sexual assault and domestic violence cases. For 24/7 emergency legal advice call 1800 100 529 or arrange an appointment online.

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