Family Violence and Family Members
Family violence in Victoria is legally defined by Section 5 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The law defines family violence very broadly and includes:
Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, a particular behaviour may constitute family violence in one situation, but the same behaviour in another circumstance may not be considered family violence. You should always seek legal advice if you believe you are the victim of family violence or are being accused of committing family violence. If you have any concerns about your safety at any time, you should call 000 immediately.
Family violence can only occur between family members. The legal definition of a ‘family member’ includes domestic partners (e.g. boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, de facto partners) and any person who has an ‘intimate relationship’ with the relevant person. It also includes a person’s immediate family – such as a partner, parent, or child – as well as siblings, aunties/uncles, and extended relatives. In some cultures, a ‘family member’ can include people with no genetic link to you, and the court can decide whether or not someone is family for the purposes of an intervention order.
If someone is harassing, controlling, or stalking you but they have not had an intimate relationship with you and are not related to you, then the Family Violence Protection Act will not apply. Instead, a ‘Personal Safety Intervention Order’ should be considered.
If you would like to advice about making or contesting an intervention orders contact us on 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.