Our family law team specialises in assisting individuals and families to obtain immediate protection by obtaining a Family Violence Intervention Order, for family violence committed by a family member, or a Personal Safety Intervention Order for violence, or threats of violence by a non-family member.
What is family violence?
Family Violence may take a number of forms, and is not limited to physical violence. It incorporates many behaviours, including but not limited to:
- Physical abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Emotional or psychological abuse;
- Financial abuse or control;
- Threatening behaviour;
- Coercive behaviour;
- Controlling or dominating behaviour that causes that person to fear for their safety or wellbeing, or that of another person;
Family violence also encompasses any behaviour that exposes a child to any of the above behaviours.
How does an Intervention Order protect me?
Intervention Orders provide protection by requiring the perpetrator to refrain from engaging in particular behaviours. They impose prohibitions, restrictions and other conditions upon the perpetrator which are designed to prevent contact and instances of family violence reoccurring.
When making an application for a Family Violence Intervention Order, the victim is able to specify the particular conduct they want to cease and tailor the conditions to suit their particular circumstances.
I need protection from a family member urgently – what are my options?
If you require immediate protection, a police officer can issue what is referred to as a Family Violence Safety Notice on the spot upon attendance at a police station or by telephone. The Safety Notice provides temporary protection until the matter goes to court.
Otherwise, an Application is made at the Magistrates’ Court by the affected family member, or occasionally a police officer on that person’s behalf. Upon Hearing of the Application, a Magistrate may make an Interim Intervention Order if he/she believes the person is not safe and requires immediate protection. An interim order provides short-term protection until the matter returns to the Court and the Magistrate has the opportunity to hear all the evidence and determine whether the person requires ongoing protection. The interim Intervention Orders lasts until a Magistrates decides whether or not to make a final order.
What about non-family members?
There is a route to obtain an Intervention Order pursuant to the laws surrounding Personal Safety. The process is similar to that involved in obtaining a Family Violence Intervention Order, and our firm is able to assist individuals to obtain a Personal Safety Intervention Order for protection against assault, sexual assault, harassment, property damage or interference with property, stalking and serious threats.