What are Domestic Violence Orders?


image of a protection orderA Domestic Violence Order is an order that can protect a person from domestic and family violence by setting out rules that the other person must follow. It can help to keep you safe by making it illegal for that person to break those rules or to use or threaten to use domestic and family violence against you.




image of national domestic violence orderEach State and Territory has different names, procedures and laws about Domestic Violence Orders.



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  • Australian Capital Territory – Family Violence Orders
  • New South Wales – Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders
  • Northern Territory – Domestic Violence Orders
  • Queensland – Domestic Violence Orders
  • South Australia – Intervention Orders
  • Tasmania – Family Violence Orders or Restraint Orders
  • Victoria – Family Violence Intervention Orders
  • Western Australia – Family Violence Restraining Orders

For more information about the laws in your State or Territory, see resources.

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Domestic Violence Orders are civil orders. This means the order is not a criminal charge against the other person. However, if the other person breaks the order, this is against the law and they can be charged with a criminal offence. For more information, see having a Domestic Violence Order against you.




If a person is charged with a criminal offence, like assault – they may get a Domestic Violence Order against them as well as the criminal charge.




image of police officerSometimes the police apply for a Domestic Violence Order to protect someone and their children. It may not be up to the protected person whether the Domestic Violence Order goes ahead or not.




image of person readingFor more information, see resources.

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© Copyright National Legal Aid 2019. All rights reserved. All illustrations by Frances Cannon.

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