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Domestic Violence

             I could not get up with the swelling. I didn't go to the doctor, I couldn't. Once I did call the emergency doctor when he was at work, but then I was too scared in case he found out. He would have killed me if he found I'd been to the doctor. I cancelled it. Just one time I did see the doctor in secret and she said I must go to the hospital. But I said no. I was too scared to go to the hospital. I even threw the pills away that she said I better take in case he found them. I threw them away. I cannot forget these things until my death. (Gill HAGUE Ellen MALOS Domestic Violence: action for change (1998) (second edition) CHELTENHAM).
             What you have just read are the tragic accounts from one of the many victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is both a social and legal problem. It refers to physical violence or harassment perpetrated by one member of a family or household against another member. This occurs between people in a range of domestic relationships including spousal relationships, intimate personal relationships, family relationships and informal care relationships. As you will see, unfortunately there is an increasingly high level of domestic violence occuring in our society. Although the law has made some attempts to deal with domestic violence offenders, the question arises as to how effective the laws actually are.
             In 1989, the Queensland Government introduced the Domestic Violence (Family protection) Act. This act provides protection to a person against violence committed or threatened by someone else if a spousal, intimate personal, family or informal care relationship exists between the persons. The main purpose of this Act is achieved by allowing a court to make a domestic violence order to provide protection for the person against further domestic violence.
             Domestic violence is usually perpetrated by men against women. The violence can involve physical abuse, sexual assault and threats, but sometimes it's more subtle, such as making someone feel worthless, not letting them have any money, or not allowing them to leave the home.

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