On the 17th of September, there was a raft of new legislation introduced, relating to the issue of domestic violence in Queensland, in particular new definitions of what may be considered by the courts as domestic violence. These changes came on the back of other significant changes to commonwealth legislation as well.
In the second reading speech on the introduction of the legislation, the then Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women, the Honourable Karen Struthers stated:
“The definition of domestic violence included in the bill is wider than the definition in the current domestic violence laws. It includes behaviour that is physically or sexually abusive; emotionally, psychologically or economically abusive; threatening or coercive; or behaviour that in any other way controls or dominates another person causing fear. By including this wider definition,the breadth of behaviours used to control and dominate in a relationship characterised by domestic violence will be captured. This means that police, magistrates, lawyers and members of the public will be more readily able to identify situations where domestic violence has occurred. This change is consistent with the views expressed during consultation and with the recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission in its report Family Violence-a national legal response released in November 2010.”
Listen to our interview with Family Law Lawyer, David Millwater from McNamara & Associates.