New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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Meaning of "domestic abuse"

6A Meaning of "domestic abuse"

(1) In this Act,
"domestic abuse" means any of the following behaviours directed by one person (the
"first person" ) against another person (the
"second person" ) with whom the first person has a domestic relationship--
(a) violent or threatening behaviour,
(b) behaviour that coerces or controls the second person,
(c) behaviour that causes the second person to fear for the person's safety or wellbeing or the safety and wellbeing of others.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1), engaging in, or threatening to engage in, the following behaviour may constitute domestic abuse--
(a) behaviour that is physically abusive or violent,
(b) behaviour that is sexually abusive, coercive or violent,
(c) behaviour that is economically or financially abusive,
• withholding financial support necessary for meeting the reasonable living expenses of a person, or another person living with or dependent on the person, in circumstances in which the person is dependent on the financial support to meet the person's living expenses
• preventing, or unreasonably restricting or regulating, a person seeking or keeping employment or having access to or control of the person's income or financial assets, including financial assets held jointly with another person
(d) behaviour that is verbally abusive,
(e) behaviour that shames, degrades or humiliates,
(f) behaviour that is intimidation,
(g) behaviour that is stalking, or that directly or indirectly harasses a person, or monitors or tracks a person's activities, communications or movements, whether by physically following the person, using technology or in another way,
(h) behaviour that damages or destroys property,
(i) behaviour that causes death or injury to an animal, or otherwise makes use of an animal to threaten a person,
(j) behaviour that prevents the second person from doing any of the following or otherwise isolates the person--
(i) making or keeping connections with the person's family, friends or culture,
(ii) participating in cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practice,
(iii) expressing the person's cultural identity,
(k) behaviour that deprives the second person of liberty, restricts the second person's liberty or otherwise unreasonably controls or regulates a person's day-to-day activities,
• making unreasonable demands about how a person exercises the person's personal, social or sexual autonomy and making threats of negative consequences for failing to comply with the demands
• denying a person access to basic necessities including food, clothing or sleep
• withholding necessary medical or other care, support, aids, equipment or essential support services from a person or compelling the person to take medication or undertake medical procedures
(3) Domestic abuse includes behaviour by the first person that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of, behaviour mentioned in subsection (1).
(4) Domestic abuse may, in the context of the relationship, be constituted by--
(a) a single act, omission or circumstance, or
(b) a combination of acts, omissions or circumstances over a period of time.
(5) Behaviour mentioned in subsection (1) or (2) may constitute domestic abuse even if the behaviour does not constitute a criminal offence.

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