Social abuse


  • Judicial Commission of NSW, Sentencing Bench Book (2018).
    [18-715] ‘Factors relevant to the seriousness of an offence’ considers NSW case law dealing with domestic violence as a factor in assessing the seriousness of kidnapping offences.


  • Supreme Court of Queensland, Equal Treatment Bench Book (2nd ed, 2016).
    ‘There is growing social recognition that a wide range of behaviours may constitute domestic violence. This is reflected in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld), which now provides that domestic violence includes the following acts… [list of acts from s 8 of the Act]’ (pp29-30).


  • Judicial College of Victoria, Family Violence Bench Book (2014).

    5.2.1 – Emotional or psychological abuse lists additional examples to the Family Violence Protection Act to describe social abuse including: ‘systematic isolation from family and friends through techniques such as ongoing rudeness to family and friends to alienate them; instigating and controlling the move to a location where the victim has no established social circle or employment opportunities; and forbidding or physically preventing the victim from going out and meeting people’.

    Also see 1.1 – Additional Guidance – Common Risk Assessment Framework which provides more examples of social abuse such as public humiliation and imprison the victim at home.


  • Department of Justice (WA), Equal Justice Bench Book (2nd edition September 2017).

    Note: Chapter 13 Family and Domestic Violence is currently under review. Until revision is completed, the first edition chapter 13 applies. The following text is based on the first edition chapter.

    This Bench Book refers to the Department of Communities’ definition of domestic violence at [13.2], including social abuse which may involve the abusive partner ‘not allowing the victim to have friends, isolating the victim from their family members, [or] denying access to a car, telephone or medical care’.


  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2017).
    Social isolation is recognised as a method of domination and control throughout this bench book (e.g. Sections 4.2, 11.1.13). Also see the discussion on the use of social isolation for people in same sex relationships (i.e. threatening to disclose their sexual orientation to their family and friends) in Section 8.8.3.