Family Law Part 1 – Facebook and Domestic Violence

USUALLY when people think of domestic violence, they think of physical abuse, but did you know it can include online acts and conduct?

The most common form of online domestic violence is threatening or abusive messages.

In family law matters, courts have taken a wide view of what counts as a threatening or abusive post and evidence from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is becoming more common in domestic violence matters before the courts.

In some cases, posting pictures of weapons or cartoons implying violence have been found to be deliberately intimidating. In others, posts that “jokingly” refer to harm befalling someone or that simply use aggressive language have also landed parties in trouble.

Another form of online abuse is stalking and harassment.

While one of Facebook’s features is that it allows you to catch up with old friends, the dark side of this is that it all too easily facilitates unwanted contact.

Even if the messages aren’t threatening or aggressive, constant attempts to get in touch with someone who has asked to be left alone can be considered a form of domestic violence.

Like many areas of the law, it all depends on the circumstances of each case. If you think you are the victim of online domestic violence, talk to a family lawyer who can assist you with taking steps to protect yourself.

Until next week – Keep it Legal!

Katie Caldow
kcaldow@walkerpender.com.au

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderFamily Law Part 1 – Facebook and Domestic Violence