What are My Rights?

Our Constitution provides that:

  • Everyone has the right to be treated equally, and not to be discriminated against on the basis of their Gender
  • Everyone has inherent Dignity and has the right to have their Dignity Respected and Protected
  • Everyone has the right to Life
  • Everyone has the Right to Freedom and Security of the Person, including the right to be free form all forms of Violence
  • Everyone has the Right to Bodily and Psychological Integrity, including the right:
    • To make decisions about reproduction; and
    • To security in and control of their body

(full text of the Constitution available at Resources)

The Domestic Violence Act (DVA) provides protections to people affected by Domestic Violence. The DVA provides that Domestic Violence includes a number of behaviours where they cause harm or imminent harm to safety, health or wellbeing within a domestic relationship. 

These behaviours include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional, Verbal and Psychological Abuse
  • Economic Abuse
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Damage to Property
  • Entry into the victims home without consent (where they don’t live together)
  • Any other controlling or abusive behaviour

The DVA provides that a Domestic Relationship is one where two people:

  • Are/were married
  • Live/d together as if married
  • Have or care for a child together
  • Are family members
  • Are/were engaged, dating, or in an intimate or sexual relationship 
  • Share/d a home

(full text of the DVA available at Resources)

The most important thing to know about Domestic Violence, no matter what the abuser tells you and no matter whether you have seen it happen to yourself or anyone else before, is that it is not right and it is not your fault. There is no justification for Domestic Violence. Because Domestic Violence happens to so many people and is seen by so many people, the effect is that it is often thought to be a normal part of marriage or relationships. This is called ‘normalisation’. By speaking up and educating yourself, your children and others about domestic violence, you can stop the normalisation process and fight for freedom and equality in your family and community.