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Family Violence Intervention Orders

An individual or the police (on someone’s behalf) can make an application to the Magistrates’ Court for an intervention order against a family member.

The person in need of protection on an intervention order is called the “affected family member”. The family member who the application is made against is called the “respondent”.

An intervention order contains conditions to prevent the respondent from committing family violence against the affected family member. Conditions of an intervention order may include:

  • not to commit family violence;
  • not to attend a particular location;
  • not to communicate with the affected family member; or
  • not to stalk the affected family member.

A breach of the conditions imposed may result in a respondent being charged with a criminal offence.

What is Family Violence?

Family violence is very broadly defined to include actions that may not necessarily be a criminal offence. Family violence includes:

  • physical or sexual abuse;
  • economic abuse;
  • emotional or psychological abuse;
  • threatening or coercive behaviour;
  • behaviour that in any other way controls or dominates a family member and causes them to fear for their safety or for another person; and
  • causing a child to hear, witness or be exposed to family violence.

Economic abuse is when a person is coercive, deceptive or unreasonably controls another person, without that person’s consent, in one of the following ways:

  • Denying the other person financial autonomy that they would have had but for the behaviour; or,
  • Withholding or threatening to withhold financial support necessary for the reasonable living expenses of a person or their child where the person is dependent on the financial support to meet those expenses.

Family Violence Safety Notices

A family violence safety notice allows the police to provide immediate temporary protection to an affected family member. The police do not need to make an application to the Magistrates’ Court to obtain a family violence safety notice.

If a family violence safety notice has been issued it will provide conditions similar to an intervention order. It is very important that a respondent complies with the conditions of the family violence safety notice.

The family violence safety notice should also contain the details of which courthouse will determine the family violence intervention order application.

Interim Orders

The Magistrates’ Court may make an interim intervention order if:

  • it is necessary to ensure the safety of the affected family member;
  • it is necessary to protect property; or,
  • it it is necessary to protect the child of an affected family member.

Interim Orders will ordinarily protect the affected family member until the intervention order application has been finalised.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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