Domestic and family violence is a significant community problem in the Northern Territory.
Domestic and family violence encompasses all forms of violence between intimate partners (who are married or unmarried, in de facto relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, gay or straight) and violence between other members of a family, household or community. Most commonly this involves physical abuse and sexual assault, threats, intimidation, emotional abuse, social isolation, property damage, financial deprivation and spiritual abuse. It also includes child abuse and neglect.
The Domestic and Family Violence Act was amended in 2007 to include all matters relating to Domestic Violence Orders (formerly Restraining Orders). The Domestic and Family Violence Amendment Bill was passed by the Northern Territory Parliament in February 2009 and commenced as of 12 March 2009. This amendment means that adults are required by law to report domestic and family violence to police if they think someone has or is likely to suffer serious physical harm from domestic violence.
The Northern Territory Government introduced this new law because safety and protection is the right of every Territorian. Sections 124 and 125 of the Act makes reporting serious physical harm everyone's business and aims to ensure that people who commit domestic and family violence are held accountable for their actions and their decision to use violence.