Family Violence (FV)

Any matter that is stamped “FV” (for Family Violence) goes on a separate track on its way through the courts in the ACT.

These matters, generally involving allegations of assault and property damage, go into a separate list in the Magistrates Court (which is even formally defined as the “Family Violence Court” for such proceedings).

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has a public policy of pursuing these matters even more vigorously and thoroughly than other criminal matters.

This means that representations to have such matters dropped face a higher threshold. The DPP often continues prosecutions in “FV” matters even after the complainant has asked that charges be dropped.

Sentencing for “FV” matters is generally harsher than for similar matters not involving specially defined people.

That definition is very broad, including a domestic partner or former domestic partner; a relative; a child of a domestic partner or former domestic partner; a parent of a child of the original person; and someone who is or has been in a “relevant relationship” with the original person. A relevant relationship is defined as “an intimate relationship between two people other than a domestic partnership”.

As well as criminal charges being brought under the “FV” stamp, the ACT also has in place a comprehensive Protection Order regime.

Protection Order Overview

The Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 lists the various types of Orders that can be made.

The following articles deal with the issues faced by those who want to have an Order made protecting them or those seeking the best way to respond when an Order has been made against them.

There are many routes that such matters can take and it is advisable to consult a lawyer who specializes in the criminal law and protection orders.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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