Public Interest Law Careers Guide - family violence

Family violence can be perpetrated by any family member against any other family member, though it is most commonly perpetrated by men and experienced by women and children.

Family Violence is defined under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) as behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour:

  • is physically or sexually abusive
  • is emotionally or psychologically abusive
  • is economically abusive
  • is threatening
  • is coercive, or
  • 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.

Family violence includes behaviour by a person that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to, the effects of the above.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that:

  • One in three women had experienced physical violence since the age of 15
  • Nearly one in five women had experienced sexual violence since the age of 15
  • 16% of women had experienced violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15

To view the ABS Personal Safety Survey on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

The following organisations specialise in helping those suffering from family violence:

Castan Centre logo

Progressive Law Network logo

Victoria Law Foundation Grants logo