Attorney-General George Brandis released a new guide for judges and magistrates about what constitutes family violence in court.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the guide has expanded the definition to include everything from criticising housework and withdrawing affection to physical attacks.
Law Council of Australia domestic and family violence taskforce chair Dr Jacoba Brasch QC mentioned that of course a once-off criticism was not enough to be considered domestic violence.
Brandis said the main aim of the guide is to help judges in their decision making to understand that domestic violence is multi-faceted and there are many tactics abusers can use. The guide says:
“A perpetrator may intend to intimidate and induce fear ... through physical violence or harm yet cause minor or no visible signs of injury.’
“The perpetrator may drive dangerously when the victim or children are in the car, or smoke in the home knowing the victim has a respiratory condition, or lock the victim outside during the night.’’
At the end of it though, Dr Brasch says that it is just a guide, and it is not changing any laws.