Secretly filming a lover’s intimate moments is abuse

Often it's the picking yourself up and getting your life back in order that can be toughest journey a person has to deal with.

Wounds heal. Psychological trauma often doesn't.

Mischa Barton is an example of why we should redefine the term "domestic violence". The US actress claims she was secretly filmed by her ex-boyfriend and that he was now attempting to sell the sexually explicit video for $500,000.

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton Bang! Showbiz

"This is a painful situation, and my absolute worst fear was realised when I learned that someone I thought I loved and trusted was filming my most intimate and private moments, without my consent, with hidden cameras," she said at a press conference today.

"Then I learned something even worse: that someone is trying to sell these videos and make them public."

Although the "painful situation" was not caused by physical harm, the scorned ex-lover's actions will impact most aspects of Barton's life.

She will live in fear of turning on a computer and finding the video is available for anyone to see. She'll wonder if everyone she meets has seen her naked and exposed.

Her lawyer Lisa Bloom has obtained a domestic violence restraining order against the unnamed man on Barton's behalf.

Good on her. But this is a battle half won. Why?

Many may argue that there was no physical harm and therefore a long bow is drawn on whether Barton's ex-boyfriend's actions constitutes this form of restraining order - these same people need to readjust their thinking.

If proven true, Barton's former partner should be reprimanded for mental abuse and inflicting pain which may take years to heal, as well as invasion of privacy.

"Because Miss Barton has dated him, we contended that she was protected under California's laws against domestic violence which prohibit all forms of abuse by a former intimate partner… we consider this to be a form of domestic abuse… the court ordered that this individual and his agents 'may not sell, distribute, give away or show any naked pictures or videos of any type of Mischa Barton," Bloom said.

Abuse from lovers can come in many forms.

In Australia there are no specific laws to deal with revenge porn, although it would be an offence within several existing laws. In NSW, for example, it is a criminal offence to film someone in a private act without their consent. There is also a Commonwealth law prohibiting using a carriage service, such as the internet, to menace or harass another person.

Perhaps it time for us, as a nation, to open our minds to how we perceive domestic violence and accept it's more than just physical abuse.

News Corp Australia

From baseball to art: 8 fantastic things to do this weekend

Premium Content From baseball to art: 8 fantastic things to do this weekend

From astronomy in Casino to cooking in Ballina, there’s plenty to do this...

Big changes as beloved IGA prepares for reopening

Premium Content Big changes as beloved IGA prepares for reopening

It’s been closed for 18 months, and locals are in for a surprise or two when...

Motorbike rider seriously hurt in Bruxner Highway crash

Premium Content Motorbike rider seriously hurt in Bruxner Highway crash

Six ambulances and the rescue helicopter were called to the scene