Domestic Violence Act 1995

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3 Meaning of domestic violence


In this Act, domestic violence, in relation to any person, means violence against that person by any other person with whom that person is, or has been, in a domestic relationship.


In this section, violence means—


physical abuse:


sexual abuse:


psychological abuse, including, but not limited to,—






damage to property:


threats of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or psychological abuse:


financial or economic abuse (for example, denying or limiting access to financial resources, or preventing or restricting employment opportunities or access to education):


in relation to a child, abuse of the kind set out in subsection (3).


Without limiting subsection (2)(c), a person psychologically abuses a child if that person—


causes or allows the child to see or hear the physical, sexual, or psychological abuse of a person with whom the child has a domestic relationship; or


puts the child, or allows the child to be put, at real risk of seeing or hearing that abuse occurring;—

but the person who suffers that abuse is not regarded, for the purposes of this subsection, as having caused or allowed the child to see or hear the abuse, or, as the case may be, as having put the child, or allowed the child to be put, at risk of seeing or hearing the abuse.


Without limiting subsection (2),—


a single act may amount to abuse for the purposes of that subsection:


a number of acts that form part of a pattern of behaviour may amount to abuse for that purpose, even though some or all of those acts, when viewed in isolation, may appear to be minor or trivial.


Behaviour may be psychological abuse for the purposes of subsection (2)(c) which does not involve actual or threatened physical or sexual abuse.

Section 3(2)(c)(iva): inserted, on 25 September 2013, by section 5 of the Domestic Violence Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 77).