Chapter 16 – Management of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in Primary Health Care

Domestic violence


Domestic violence is also commonly referred to as DV, intimate partner violence (IPV) or family violence.

While there is no single definition, the central element of domestic and family violence is an ongoing pattern of behavior aimed at exerting power and control over an intimate partner or member of the family.

It should be noted that the term ‘family violence’ is used to extend the meaning of domestic violence beyond that perpetrated by an intimate partner. Family violence is a term often preferred in working with Aboriginal communities as this recognizes the diversity of marital and kinship relationships in which violence can occur.

In most cases, the violent behavior is part of a range of tactics used to exercise power and control over women and their children, and can be both criminal and non-criminal. Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.(1)

It is important to acknowledge that men are also victims of domestic violence and domestic violence also occurs in same sex relationships.


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Safety assessment, planning and referral services

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Immigration family violence provisions

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Tenancy legislation

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