What is family violence? What can I do if I am a victim of family violence?
Most victims of family violence do not know that they are considered victims in the eyes of the law. Many do not know where or how they can get help. If you are a victim of family violence, in order to protect you and your loved ones, you need to seek legal help.
1. What is family violence?
Family violence is not limited to physical hurt inflicted or threatened to be inflicted to a member of the family. Under the Women’s charter, it is family violence when a person:
- wilfully or knowingly places a family member in fear of hurt
- wilfully or knowingly attempts to place a family member in fear of hurt
- causes hurt by acting in a way which is known or ought to have been known to cause hurt
- wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will
- continually harasses a family member with intent to cause anguish
- continually harasses a family member knowing that it is likely to cause anguish
However, exceptions are made when the act is used lawfully in self-defence, or by way of correction towards a child below 21 years of age.
2. Who can apply for relief?
Any family member or in the case of a child or an incapacitated person needing protection, a guardian or a relative or person responsible for the care of the child or a person appointed by the Minister, can apply for a protection order,
The term “family member” has a wide definition and includes spouses or former spouses, parents, children, siblings, in-laws and relatives.
3. Standard of proof
The applicant need only satisfy the court, on the balance of probabilities, that violence has been committed or likely to be committed.