All you need to know about domestic violence order

All you need to know about domestic violence order

Published on 9 August 2021
Last updated on 14 March 2024

Domestic violence has been recognized as a major public health problem in Australia. If you are facing domestic violence, or have been threatened with domestic violence, you should consider applying for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO). In Queensland, a Domestic Violence Order is an order issued by the court to prevent acts of domestic violence (In New South Wales it’s called an AVO, whereas in Victoria it’s called an IVO). In this blog, we will introduce what a Domestic Violence Order is, how you can apply for one, how long it would last for and what it may cover.


1. What is domestic violence?

Domestic and family violence (DFV) occurs when one person in an intimate personal, family or informal carer relationship uses violence or abuse to maintain power and control over the other person. DFV does not always involve physical violence. DFV is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner (also known as coercive control). A wide variety of abusive behaviours – including social, financial, psychological and technology-facilitated abuse – often accompanied by threats of physical violence, may be used to cause fear.

Over time, this can have a devastating impact on victims’ autonomy, independence, wellbeing and safety. Coercive control is the most common risk factor leading up to an intimate partner homicide.

Many of the types of abuse described below include elements of controlling or coercive behaviour.


2. What is a DVO?

A domestic violence order (DVO) is an official document issued by the court to stop threats or acts of domestic violence. A DVO sets out rules that the ‘respondent’ (the person who has committed domestic violence against you) must obey. It is designed to keep the ‘aggrieved’ (the person who has had violence against them) safe by making it illegal for the respondent to behave in specific ways. There are two types of DVO: a protection order and a temporary protection order.

A DVO is a civil court order so it will not appear on the respondent’s criminal history. However, it is a criminal offence to disobey an order, and this will appear on the respondent’s criminal history.


3. Can I apply for a DVO?

You will be eligible to apply for a DVO if you:

  • have been subjected to domestic violence and
  • are in a relevant relationship


4. What is a relevant relationship?

A ‘relevant relationship’ is defined as an intimate personal relationship, a family relationship or an informal care relationship.

All you need to know about domestic violence order


5. How to apply for a DVO?

You can apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVO) by yourself or by speaking to:

  • a police officer
  • a lawyer
  • a community/welfare worker
  • a friend
  • a family member
  • someone you trust to apply for you

Engaging a lawyer ensures that you obtain a DVO that is right for your particular circumstances. As Domestic Violence Lawyers, our philosophy is to support and protect you and your children. We ensure your well-being is protected by getting the most comprehensive DVO for your situation.

Please do not hesitate. You are welcome to conduct a 100% confidential consultation with our team of Domestic Violence Lawyers to discuss your situation and options.


6. What can be included in a DVO?

In a DVO, the person making the application is called the aggrieved. The person who has to respond to the DVO is called the respondent.

Examples of conditions in a DVO are as follow: –

  • the respondent must be of good behaviour and must not commit domestic violence towards the protected person
  • the respondent must not approach the protected person at home or work
  • the respondent is prohibited from staying in a home they both currently share or previously shared, even if the house is owned or rented in the respondent’s name
  • the respondent cannot approach relatives or friends (if named in the order)
  • the respondent must not go to a child’s school or day care centre


7. How long can a DVO last?

A DVO can continue for any period of time the court considers necessary to protect the aggrieved.

A DVO usually will be effective for 5 years after the day the order is made. The period of time can be less than 5 years only if the court is satisfied there are reasons for doing so.


8. What if I need immediate protection?

If you believe your safety is at risk, and the normal application process won’t protect you quickly enough, you can make an application for an urgent temporary protection order.

Urgent orders may be made to protect the aggrieved even if the respondent is not present in court or is not notified about an application for a domestic violence (ex parte order).

The aggrieved is required to establish that an urgent order is necessary or desirable. If possible, contact us or the police as soon as possible.


9. Can a DVO be amended?

Yes. A DVO can be amended.

The aggrieved, respondent or any persons named in the DVO may apply to amend the DVO.

Common reasons for amendments to DVO include:

  • Insufficient conditions to effectively protect the aggrieved
  • Does not include other persons in need of protection


10. Summary

Domestic violence may exert long-term impacts on all family members. Applying for a DVO can effectively protect yourself from future harm or harassment and ensure the well-being of both you and your children. If you need assistance in applying for a DVO, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced family lawyers will assess your situation and help you to apply for a comprehensive and suitable DVO!

Disclaimer: Ascent Lawyers owns all copyright in the text. This article is of a general nature and should not be regarded as legal advice or relied on for assistance in any particular circumstance or emergency situation. To obtain legal advice in relation to your own circumstances, please contact us for consultation.

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