(1) For the purposes of this Act, family violence is—
(a) behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour—
(i) is physically or sexually abusive; or
(ii) is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
(iii) is economically abusive; or
(iv) is threatening; or
(v) is coercive; or
(vi) in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person; or
(b) behaviour by a person that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of, behaviour referred to in paragraph (a).
Examples to s. 5(1)(b) amended by No. 33/2018 s. 15.
1 The following behaviour may constitute family violence under paragraph (a)—
• using coercion, threats, physical abuse or emotional or psychological abuse to cause or attempt to cause a person to enter into a marriage;
• using coercion, threats, physical abuse or emotional or psychological abuse to demand or receive dowry, either before or after a marriage.
2 The following behaviour may constitute a child hearing, witnessing or otherwise being exposed to the effects of behaviour referred to in paragraph (a)—
• overhearing threats of physical abuse by one family member towards another family member;
• seeing or hearing an assault of a family member by another family member;
• comforting or providing assistance to a family member who has been physically abused by another family member;
• cleaning up a site after a family member has intentionally damaged another family member's property;
• being present when police officers attend an incident involving physical abuse of a family member by another family member.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1), "family violence" includes the following behaviour—
(a) assaulting or causing personal injury to a family member or threatening to do so;
(b) sexually assaulting a family member or engaging in another form of sexually coercive behaviour or threatening to engage in such behaviour;
(c) intentionally damaging a family member's property, or threatening to do so;
(d) unlawfully depriving a family member of the family member's liberty, or threatening to do so;
(e) causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal, whether or not the animal belongs to the family member to whom the behaviour is directed so as to control, dominate or coerce the family member.
(3) To remove doubt, it is declared that behaviour may constitute family violence even if the behaviour would not constitute a criminal offence.