You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Domestic abuse guide doesn't alter law: PM

AAP logoAAP 19/08/2016 Elise Scott

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended new domestic violence guidelines for judges, which include repeated silence or withdrawing affection as emotional abuse.

The prime minister insists the "bench" guidelines don't change the law.

"They're there for guidance and I think it's important that we don't take them out of context," he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

Attorney-General George Brandis released the online resource, saying it would promote best practice in domestic violence court cases.

The guidelines define as emotional and psychological abuse verbal attacks, stalking, threatening to divorce or kill the victim and monitoring the victim's whereabouts.

Mr Turnbull said it was vital to stop men disrespecting women.

"Domestic violence is a disgrace," he said.

"Violence against women and children is always wrong."

The guide includes repeated angry verbal outbursts, staring, silence, ignoring and withdrawal of affection as emotional abuse.

For example, in one case of abuse against a female, a man insisted she slept outside and asked her children to refer to her by derogatory terms.

"Generally treating her in a humiliating and abusive manner, including attempting to persuade her to engage in a sexual act with a dog," the guideline example states.

There is no single family violence law in Australia and judges can rely on a range of legal responses to deal with domestic violence cases.

The guidelines are designed to provide a central source for judges dealing with such cases.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon