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Family Violence in Australia

Family Violence in Australia

The Legal Response

By Renata Alexander


This exceptionally useful book is a successor to Domestic Violence in Australia: The Legal Response (3rd edition) and explains the wide range of legal remedies and related responses to family violence in different legal contexts. There is no other book in Australia that looks at family violence in such depth and in its various legal and allied dimensions.

The book begins by describing the different types of family violence, and the causes, risk factors and consequences of, and community attitudes to, family violence. Alongside this introduction, is a handy list of specialised services and supports for helpers dealing with families affected by family violence.

The book then moves to its primary focus and comprehensively outlines the different family violence legislative frameworks/schemes and orders applicable in each Australian State and Territory, including remedies, definitions, who can apply, criteria for obtaining orders, duration, variation, portability, breach, procedure and forms, and importantly, details of ongoing reviews and proposals for reform.

Because family/domestic violence orders are a hybrid of law – they are obtained on the civil standard of proof but attract criminal sanctions if breached or contravened – the book discusses criminal law and the criminal process, including police powers, various criminal offences (such as homicide) and sentencing.

In addition, the book discusses family law and procedures for protection under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), including the relevance of family violence in parenting matters as well as in financial and property matters. There is also information on other remedies such as the peace complaint, injunctions and compensation for injuries sustained or property damage.

Although Australia has national campaigns and organisations working to combat family violence and support those affected – victims/survivors and offenders/perpetrators alike – the legal responses are fragmented. This book highlights the need for a systematic and integrated uniform response to family violence across all States and Territory borders.


Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

Chapter 1: Family Violence – What Helpers Need to Know

Chapter 2: The Criminal Law

Chapter 3: The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)

Chapter 4: Other Non-specific Remedies

Chapter 5: Protection Orders



Reviews of successor title – Domestic Violence in Australia: The Legal Response (3rd edition):

Alexander successfully provides readers with an in-depth picture of the operation of domestic violence legislation around Australia. …
         A good knowledge of legal remedies and non-legal; remedies such as the available support service for medical treatment and accommodation is essential for those who work with the victim in day-to-day practice, such as the police, court personnel, legal practitioners and community workers. Practitioners will find the material in this chapter useful when assisting domestic violence victims, as it includes a list of legal resources and social services and a checklist of practical questions that helpers have in mind. …
         [The book] provides an excellent review of the current legal responses to domestic violence in Australian jurisdictions. I would recommend the book ...

Journal of Family Studies, Vol 10(1), April 2004

[A]n invaluable text for anyone whose work brings him/her into contact with this issue. From the outset, the author … stresses that a holistic, interagency approach is required. …
         This book is an excellent resource for providing clients [of family therapists and other counsellors] with accurate and essential information about the legal avenues for addressing domestic violence.

ANZ Journal of Family Therapy, Vol 24(3), September 2003

This practical guide … will make useful reading for anyone involved in providing services/assistance to victims of domestic violence.

Family Matters, No 62, Winter 2002

A fantastic reference for lawyers, Domestic Violence in Australia: The Legal Response serves also as a functional summary for social workers and anyone involved in the support of families disrupted by violence. … Ms Alexander explains practically every option the law provides to victims of domestic violence. She also analyses their relative merits.

Law Institute Journal (Vic), December 2002

This exceptionally useful book explains the wide range of available legal responses to domestic violence in each Australian jurisdiction.

Educational Book Review (India), Nov-Dec 2002


Publishing 14 September 2018
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760021788
Australian RRP $49.95
International Price $45.00
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Family Studies
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Law - Women & the Law
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