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Family violence

Violence between family members is subject to legal intervention in the same way as violence between strangers.

Family violence is recognised to take many forms, including not only physical injury, but also emotional and psychological harm, social isolation and financial control.

If family violence comes to the attention of police, they may issue an intervention order (see Intervention orders) or lay criminal charges against the perpetrator (see Criminal charges).

Even though not all forms of family violence carry a criminal sanction and penalty, all forms are often relevant to courts, for example, all forms are relevant when a court is making intervention orders or parenting orders.

Victims of family violence in the past have been stigmatised and the prevailing attitude of keeping the problem behind closed doors as a ‘private’ family matter only furthered victimisation and increased the vulnerability of victims. Legislation now emphasises family violence as a social problem affecting all members of society and attracting the full sanctions of criminal justice intervention.

However, it should be noted that legal remedies can sometimes be of limited use in a crisis. It is more often the practical steps and planning a person can take which will be of much greater significance for their safety than reliance on legal remedies alone.

For information on domestic and family violence and the law in Australia, visit the Family Violence Law Help website.

For information on domestic and family violence an services that can help South Australian women and girls, including in Auslan see our Abuse Prevention Accessible Videos.

In an emergency: 000

For police attendance: 131 444

Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 800 098

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732.

Family violence  :  Last Revised: Fri Dec 20th 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.