What is a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
A Domestic Violence Protection Order is a Court Order limiting the behaviour of the person who is being violent (the Respondent). It is made to protect the person experiencing domestic and family violence (the Aggrieved).
It must include conditions that the Respondent is well behaved toward you, or anyone else named on the Order (including your children). The Magistrate can also include other conditions stopping a person from approaching, contacting or locating you, or anyone else named in the Order, which could include coming to your home or workplace.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order is a civil Order. However, if an Order has been made, it is a criminal offence for the Respondent to breach (disobey) the Order. The Respondent is also prohibited from having a weapon or a weapon’s licence.
Who can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
If you are experiencing domestic violence you can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order. The person who wants protection is called the ‘Aggrieved’.
To make a Domestic Violence Protection Order, one of the following relationships has to exist between the Aggrieved and Respondent:
- an intimate personal relationship (married, defacto, registered relationship, engaged, couple);
- a family relationship (a parent or former parent of a child, or your relatives); or
- an informal care relationship (where one person is dependent on the other person for help in an activity of daily living, like dressing and cooking for them).
The police can also make a Domestic Violence Protection Order application against someone. The police may decide to apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order for you even if you do not agree.
Changing a Domestic Violence Protection Order
The Aggrieved, the Respondent or any other person named in the Order can apply to change the Domestic Violence Protection Order. If the police have taken out the Order they can oppose this. The Aggrieved or the Respondent can apply to change:
- the Order’s conditions;
- the people named in the Order; or
- the time length of the Order.
People named in the Order can only apply to change the parts of the Order that relate to them.
When deciding whether to change an Order, the Magistrate must consider:
- the wishes of the Aggrieved or any other person named on the Order;
- whether the Aggrieved or any other person named in the Order may have been pressured; and
- the safety, protection or wellbeing of the Aggrieved or any other person named in the Order.
The Magistrate will only change the Order if they are satisfied the Aggrieved, or any other person named on the Order, would not be adversely affected by the change.
To apply to change the Order’s terms or conditions, you will need to complete a Form DV04 Application to vary a domestic violence order (PDF, 298.9KB).
If there is a Domestic Violence Protection Order between you and your partner, you should get legal advice about living together. The Respondent may be breaching the Order just by being near you. Although, you can have a Domestic Violence Protection Order and still live with each other.
Voluntary intervention Orders
If a Magistrate makes or varies (changes) a Domestic Violence Protection Order, it can also make a voluntary intervention Order requiring the Respondent to attend an intervention program, a perpetrators intervention program or counselling to address their behaviour. This Order can only be made if the Respondent is present at Court.
Interstate or New Zealand Domestic Violence Protection Orders
New laws have been introduced
Domestic Violence Protection Orders issued in one State or Territory now apply and are enforceable in all States and Territories in Australia.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders issued in New Zealand can be registered in any State or Territory of Australia and will automatically be a recognised interstate Order.
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