Apprehended Violence Orders

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an Order made by a court against a person who makes you fear for your safety, to protect you from further violence, intimidation or harassment. All Apprehended Violence Orders made by the court prohibit the person who is causing these fears from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking, or intimidating you. Other conditions can be included.

There are two types of AVOs :

  1. Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO):
    An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order is made where the people involved are related, living together or in an intimate relationship, or have previously been in this situation. In the case of an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander, Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders can also be made where the people involved are part of the kin or extended family of the other person. Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders are also available to people who are or have been in a dependent care arrangement with another person, including paid carers, and to people living in the same residential facility.
  2. Apprehended Personal violence Order (APVO):
    An Apprehended Personal Violence Order is made where the people involved are not related and do not have a domestic relationship, for example, they are neighbours or work together.

Applying for an AVO

Who can apply for an AVO?

How do you apply for an Apprehended Violence Order?

Police can make the application for an Apprehended Violence Order on your behalf if they attend the scene, or a victim of violence attends a police station with sufficient evidence to warrant police action.

The person who needs protection can apply directly at a local court. The court staff must, as a matter of law, allow you to make an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. You should make a note of the court date given to you at the time you make the application. The application will tell the defendant (the person who is causing fears for your safety) the date and time they have to attend court. The application will be served on the defendant by police. Note that the Order has no force until it is served.

You should know that an application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order may be refused if the court (the magistrate) believes the application is frivolous, vexatious or unconvincing.


For more information see Legal Aid.

Conditions

Conditions that the person-in-need-of-protection may request the court to include, relative to their particular needs:

All AVOs made by the court prohibit the defendant from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking, or intimidating you. There may be other sections added. The sections are as follows:

  1. The defendant must not assault, molest, harass, threaten or otherwise interfere with the protected person
  2. The defendant must not reside at the premises at which the protected person may from time to time reside, or other specified premises
  3. The defendant must not enter the premises at which the protected person may from time to time reside, work, or other specified premises
  4. The defendant must not go within 'x' metres of the premises at which the protected person may from time to time reside, work, or other specified premises
  5. The defendant must not approach, contact or telephone the protected person, except as agreed in writing or for any purpose permitted by an order or directions under the Family Law Act 1975 as to counselling, conciliation or mediation.
  6. The defendant must not approach, contact or telephone the protected person except for the purpose of arranging or exercising access to children, as agreed in writing or as otherwise authorised by an order, or registered Parenting Plan under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
  7. The defendant must not contact the protected person by any means (including through a third party) except through the defendant’s legal representative.
  8. The defendant must surrender all firearms and related licenses to NSW Police.
  9. The defendant must not approach the school or other premises at which the protected person may from time to time attend for the purposes of education or child care or other specified premises
  10. The defendant must not approach the protected person within 12 hours of consuming intoxicating liquor or drugs.
  11. The defendant must not destroy or deliberately damage or interfere with the property of the protected person.
  12. That the Court extend the operation of these orders to protect the following persons with whom the complainant has a domestic relationship.

The Order can include children in need of protection or other parties living in a domestic relationship with the applicant. Courts are often reluctant to include children on AVO’s if there is a concurrent Family Law matter, so if it is needed, the applicant must convince the court.