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A Family Violence Intervention Order is a Court Order which makes it an offence for a person to commit family violence against another person.
A Family Violence Intervention Order does not give the perpetrator of family violence a criminal record but prevents that person from committing any further family violence. If they do, it can become a criminal matter.
Making an Intervention Order
An Intervention Order first has to be applied for. Whether an Intervention Order is made or not will then be determined at a later court hearing before the Magistrates’ Court.
An Intervention Order can be applied for in two ways:
- Self-Initiated Intervention Order: a person can make an application in person by completing an application and lodging it at the Magistrates’ Court.
- Police Initiated Safety Notice: Victoria Police may also make an application for an Intervention Order on a person or child’s behalf if they are concerned that they are at risk of family violence. (If you are concerned for your own or your child’s safety, you can attend your local police station and seek their assistance.)
Once an application for an Intervention Order or Interim Intervention Order has been made, it will be served on the family member against whom allegations have been made (“the Respondent”). A court date will be set, and the Respondent will have a chance to respond to the making of the order on that day.
It is important to note that if you require the immediate protection of an Intervention Order, an application for an Interim Intervention Order can be made on the same day as the day the application is submitted.
If you are served with an Application which lists you as the Respondent, it is important that you attend Court on the designated day. If you do not attend court, there is a very strong likelihood that an intervention order will be made on the terms and conditions sought by the police or another applicant.
We understand that court hearings in these circumstances can be extremely stressful, confusing and daunting. It will be important to obtain legal advice so you know all of your options and how to proceed.
We can provide you with sensitive legal advice about obtaining an intervention order and/or defending an intervention order. We can also organise legal representation for you on the day of your court hearing.
Breaches of an Intervention Order
If a Respondent does not follow or “breaches” (i.e. breaks the conditions of) the order, it is called a contravention.
Breaking court orders is a crime. The police must investigate any Intervention Order breaches. If the police find that the Respondent has breached an order, they can charge the Respondent. Consequences for breaching an intervention include large fines or a term of imprisonment.
If you are concerned that a Respondent has breached anIntervention Order, you can attend your local police station and make a report. It will be important to have as much evidence as you can, so do your best to keep a diary or a record of what has happened.
If you are concerned that allegations of breaching an Intervention Order have been made against you, it will be important to seek legal advice about your options in responding to the allegations.