Legal Definitions Of Violence

Women's Charter

The legal definition of family violence is in section 64 of the Women's Charter. Under section 64, family violence is defined as:

  • Willfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
  • Causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
  • Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will; or
  • Causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member

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Protection From Harassment Act (Revised 2020)

An Act to protect persons against harassment and unlawful stalking and false statements of fact, and to provide for the establishment of the Protection from Harassment Court.

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Vulnerable Adults Act (VAA) 2018

An Act to make provision for the safeguarding of vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect or self-neglect:

Under the VAA, abuse means:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional or psychological abuse;
  • Conduct or behaviour by an individual that in any other way controls or dominates another individual and causes the other individual to fear for his or her safety or wellbeing; or
  • Conduct or behaviour by an individual that unreasonably deprives, or threatens to unreasonably deprive, another individual of that other individual’s liberty of movement or wellbeing;

Neglect: in relation to an individual, means the lack of provision to the individual of essential care (such as but not limited to food, clothing, medical aid, lodging and other necessities of life), to the extent of causing or being reasonably likely to cause personal injury or physical pain to, or injury to the mental or physical health of, the individual;

Self-neglect, in relation to an individual, means the failure of the individual to perform essential tasks of daily living (such as but not limited to eating, dressing and seeking medical aid) to care for himself or herself, resulting in the individual:

  • living in grossly unsanitary or hazardous conditions;
  • suffering from malnutrition or dehydration; or
  • suffering from an untreated physical or mental illness or injury;

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Penal Code

Marital rape refers to non-consensual sex between a married couple in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. As of 1 January 2020, a husband who forces his wife to have sex with him can be charged with marital rape under section 375(4) of the Penal Code

You can read more here.