Communities and Justice

The law on domestic violence

Domestic and family violence is a crime that takes many forms. It's defined in the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007.

It's a crime that often goes unreported to police.

It involves an abuse of power, mainly perpetrated by men in an intimate partner relationship or after separating from the relationship. It extends beyond physical violence and may involve the exploitation of power imbalances and patterns of abuse.

Some examples of domestic and family violence crimes are:

  • physical assault (punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, throwing things at a person)
  • stalking
  • unwanted sex or sexual acts
  • breaking ADVOs - Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (sometimes called AVOs or restraining orders)
  • making some type of threat

Police will respond to all reports of domestic and family violence. Officers are committed to using all lawful means to police this crime, including:

  • removing offenders from the victim-survivor's location (victim-survivor safety is a priority)
  • taking out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on behalf of victim-survivors and any children living or spending time with the victim (whether they are by consent or not)
  • investigating breaches of ADVOs
  • developing solutions to managing repeat offenders

(Source: NSW Police)

For more information about Domestic Violence law visit:

Last updated:

01 Sep 2022