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Is Family Violence The Same Criminal Offence as Domestic Violence?

Both forms of violence are taken seriously under Queensland law

In the realm of legal discourse, terms like family violence and domestic violence tend to be used interchangeably, which can create confusion about their precise definitions and legal implications. To shed light on this issue, we’ll explore the distinction between the two violence acts, their legal definitions, and the relevant implications under Queensland law.

Defining Domestic Violence

Under Queensland law, domestic violence is governed by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.

The legislation defines domestic violence as abusive behaviour including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse. It can occur between intimate partners, family members, or individuals who share a domestic living arrangement. Importantly, domestic violence extends beyond physical harm and can encompass intimidation tactics. In 2023, the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023 (Qld) (the Act) was introduced in order to criminalise coercive control.

Understanding Family Violence

This for of violence is a broader term that encompasses violence or abusive behaviour occurring within families, regardless of whether the individuals involved live together or have an intimate relationship. While it can include incidents of domestic violence, it also extends to violence or abuse involving extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

It often occurs within family units and may involve disputes over inheritances, property, or other family-related issues. It can manifest as physical confrontations, emotional or psychological abuse, and financial exploitation within the family context.

Legal Implications

Understanding the difference between these two terms is essential when it comes to legal implications. In Queensland, the legal framework for addressing both violence types is comprehensive. The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 primarily addresses domestic violence, providing avenues for protection orders and intervention to safeguard victims.

Family violence, while not explicitly defined under a single piece of legislation, is still subject to Queensland’s legal system. Various laws, such as the Criminal Code Act 1899, contain provisions that address offences related to assault, stalking, and harassment, which can apply to family situations.

Need Help Navigating Family or Domestic Violence?

While family and domestic violence differ in definition, both forms of violence are taken seriously under Queensland law, and legal measures are in place to protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for those seeking legal recourse or assistance in family or domestic violence situations. If you or someone you know is navigating family or domestic violence as either a victim or as someone facing potential charges, it is essential to consult with legal professionals who specialise in these areas as soon as possible. Please get in touch with us at Guest Lawyers to explore available options and ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved.