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What they usually look at is whether it was "self-defense" or "protection of another". If you were trying to protect someone else, I think you have a valid defense.
Everyone knows that a guy is stronger than a girl and could basically kill her with his bare hands, and she wouldn't be able to do too much about it.
I think I would focus on the fact that you were trying to protect the girl. You were trying to stop him from attacking the girl, and if he hit you to try to get you away so he could attack her, I think you were justified.
You are only allowed to use force that is reasonable. You tried to stop the guy, and he hit you. So you had to up the ante a little bit and use a little more force, in order to stop the guy. I think this will be seen as reasonable.
Edit: I just noticed that you're in Australia. I'm in the U.S. Laws may be different there.
-------------------- The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. -Teilard
Your fucking stupid for using a knife. It's good that you wanted to help,m but be smart about it, don't use a fucking knife. Now your going to get in shit wiht the law and all that. Don't be a pussy, use your fists.
"What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?" - Bill Hicks