Speak Out If You Are Facing These Forms of Abuse in Your Family

17 July 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog


Domestic violence is a sad reality that many families struggle with every day. Unfortunately, many victims of family violence are suffering in silence because they consider it to be a domestic matter and not a legal issue. The Australian law recognises that family violence is a vice that causes a lot of suffering to victims and even has the potential to break families. To help discourage the vice and ensure that legal action is taken against perpetrators of the crime, it is important to educate families on the various forms of family violence.

Under Australian law, family violence can take these three forms:

Physical abuse. Perhaps this is the most commonly known form of domestic violence. It happens when a person imposes physical harm or injury to another, for example, by pulling their hair, hitting them with an object, kicking or punching them, et cetera, et cetera. It is important for those who have been physically abused to immediately seek medical attention. The doctor will prepare medical records indicating the nature of the injuries inflicted and the severity of such injuries. The medical records can be used as evidence in a court of law.

Emotional abuse. This is also known as psychological abuse. It arises when a person uses words and behavior intended to hurt or intimidate another person or interfere with their social life. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, spiritual abuse, financial abuse, and social abuse. Unlike physical abuse, it may be difficult to keep records of emotional abuse, but victims can always look for witnesses to strengthen their case. For example, if your spouse has a bad habit of saying hurtful words to you in public, you can ask some of the people present when they are making such altercations to be your witnesses.

Sexual abuse. This form of domestic violence usually happens in many families, but because of the stigma associated with the vice, many victims do not usually talk about it. Interestingly, sexual abuse is common even among married couples; that is, when a person compels their spouse into having sexual contact. It is important to understand that sex requires mutual consent and adult status. Therefore, anyone who has sexual contact with a member of their family while violating these two requirements should be charged with sexual abuse. 

If you are facing domestic violence in your marriage or family, it is best to take up the matter with law enforcement agents. Besides that, you will need to find a lawyer that specialises in domestic violence cases to represent you in the courtroom.