The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 recognises that domestic violence is a crime. The objects of this Act aim to ensure the safety and protection of all persons who experience or witness domestic violence, the reduction and prevention of violence by one person against another where a domestic relationship exists, and the enactment of provisions consistent with the principles contained inthe Convention on the Elimination of all forms Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

It also clearly states that this Act recognises that domestic violence:

  • in all its forms, is unacceptable behaviour;
  • is predominantly perpetrated by men against women and children;
  • occurs in all sectors of the community;
  • extends beyond physical violence and may involve the exploitation of power imbalances and patterns of abuse over many years;
  • occurs in traditional and non-traditional settings; and
  • is best addressed through a co-ordinated legal and social response of assistance and prevention of violence and, in certain cases, may be the subject of appropriate intervention by the court’.

Section 5 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 explicitly recognises domestic violence can also occur between two persons if the victim:

  • ‘is living or has lived in the same household as the other person’ (Section 5 (d)) (such as co-residents); or
  • ‘is living or has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person and at the same time as the other person’ (Section 5 (e)), (such as co-residents); or
  • ‘has or has had a relationship involving his or her dependence on the ongoing paid or unpaid care of the other person’ (Section 5 (f)), (such as staff of licensed boarding houses).