Prosecuting non-physical abuse between current intimate partners: are stalking laws an under-utilised resource?

McMahon, Marilyn, McGorrery, Paul and Burton, Kelley 2019, Prosecuting non-physical abuse between current intimate partners: are stalking laws an under-utilised resource?, Melbourne university law review, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 551-592.

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Title Prosecuting non-physical abuse between current intimate partners: are stalking laws an under-utilised resource?
Author(s) McMahon, MarilynORCID iD for McMahon, Marilyn orcid.org/0000-0002-5822-3173
McGorrery, PaulORCID iD for McGorrery, Paul orcid.org/0000-0001-7221-118X
Burton, Kelley
Journal name Melbourne university law review
Volume number 42
Issue number 2
Start page 551
End page 592
Total pages 42
Publisher Melbourne University, Law Review Association
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2019
ISSN 0025-8938
Keyword(s) stalking
domestic violence
non-physical abuse
Summary The prevention of family violence—including economic and psychological abuse—is currently a major priority for governments in Australia and New Zealand. Traditionally, the criminal law in those jurisdictions has focused exclusively on physical violence. However, there is increasing interest in also targeting non-physical forms of abuse. Many of these behaviours are indirectly criminalised via family violence legislation, which requires an intervention order to be in place before the behaviour is deemed criminal. This article investigates whether those behaviours are also directly criminalised by stalking laws, particularly in the context of an ongoing intimate relationship, where the partners are cohabitating. The extent to which stalking laws can and are being used to prosecute offenders for psychologically or emotionally abusing their intimate partners is investigated, as well as the broader issue of whether stalking laws constitute an adequate mechanism for dealing with this form of abuse. We conclude that although stalking provisions can be used to prosecute non-physical family violence against current intimate partners, restricted community and expert understandings of stalking suggest that a more appropriate solution would be to construct a new family violence-specific offence to deal with this form of abuse.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1801 Law
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, Melbourne University
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30115849

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Law
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