Domestic violence refers to abuse made with someone you share a house with. It can happen in heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender relationship. Domestic violence occurs when a person uses violence or abuse to cause fear and physically or psychologically dominate the other. Women and children are the most common victims of domestic violence.
The different forms of domestic violence are:
Physical – direct assault such as slapping, hitting, shaking, biting, pushing, punching, choking, kicking; use of objects or weapons to hurt; withholding food, medication or medical care; sleep deprivation; forcing the victim to take drugs.
Psychological – making threats regarding child custody; destruction of property; abuse of pets in front of family members; driving dangerously.
Sexual – unwanted sex or sexual activity without consent; inflicting pain during sex; genital assault.
Social – isolation from family members and friends; instigating to move to a location where there was no established social circle; restricting the use of phone or car; locks the victim inside the house; preventing the victim to go out and meet people.
Emotional – blaming the victim for all relationship problems; name calling; undermining self-worth or self-esteem; silent treatment; emotional blackmail; humiliation; suicide threats; death threat.
Financial – forbidding access to bank accounts; controlling the victim’s money; providing inadequate allowance; not allowing the victim to seek employment; refusing to give money; coercing to sign documents; using all of the victim’s wages for household expenses.
Stalking – following and watching; tracking with GPS; telephone and online harassment; intimidation.
The law offers protection to victims of domestic violence. A victim can make a police complaint who will lay criminal charges against the alleged offender. Victims of domestic violence are eligible for counseling and compensation. Victims must make an application within 2 years from the time the violence happened. But an application may be accepted after 2 years if there is a good reason why it hasn’t made in time like sexual assault made to minors. It is important for the victim to keep a record of all incidents of violence to form the basis of a complaint.
Who can apply for Domestic Violence Compensation?
• A victim who is injured as direct result of violence, even if they don’t suffer any additional injury
• A person injured as a direct result of preventing someone from committing an act of violence.
• A person who sustains an injury as a result of witnessing an act of violence.
• A family member of deceased victim.
• If a person incurred financial loss.
Compensation programs for victims of domestic violence are state- or territory based in Australia. Each state and territory administers its own compensation program according to its own laws. Compensations are provided according to a schedule of injuries. The maximum amount that can be awarded by the Victim’s Compensation Tribunal is $50,000.00 Compensation for financial loss as a result of domestic violence is $10,000.00 Loss of personal effects maximum compensation is $1,000.00 these amounts are part of the overall maximum compensation amount of $50,000.00
Compensable costs include:
• Medical and hospital expenses
• Loss of income
• Mental health counseling
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Incidental costs
• Treatment expense such as dental, chiropractic and physiotherapy
• Travel expenses
• Funeral expenses
Give us a call if you are a victim of domestic violence and we will give you advice on your rights, compensation and eligibility.