Family and Domestic Violence Law

The Family Law Act outlines a number of examples of what constitutes family violence, however family and domestic violence laws are legislated in each state or territory rather than the one piece of legislation covering the whole of Australia.

The definition of family violence in the Family Law Act is not the same definition as the definition in Tasmania’s Family Violence Act.

Under the Family Violence Act in Tasmania, family violence can occur between people aged 16 years and over and who:

  • are married or have been married;
  • are in a significant relationship or have been in one.

Significant relationships are defined as between two persons who have a relationship as a couple and who are not married to one another or who are not related by family. This includes same-sex and de facto relationships.

Family Violence can include any of the following types of behaviour committed by a person, directly or indirectly, against that person’s spouse or partner:

  • assault including sexual assault;
  • threats, coercion, intimidation or verbal abuse;
  • abduction;
  • stalking
  • attempting or threatening any of the above;
  • economic abuse;
  • emotional abuse or intimidation.

It is also important to note that Family Violence Orders for other states or territories can be registered and enforced in Tasmania.

For advice, you can contact the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania.