If you need protection through the justice system, we are able to assist you with talking to police and the courts and help decide whether you require support during the process of obtaining one.
An intervention order is a special court order to protect you from family violence and is made by a magistrate in a Magistrates’ Court and sets rules for the violent person.
Intervention orders contain different conditions. The conditions you choose affect the way the intervention order works. Your partner may still live with you, but if they are violent, threatening or damages property this is a ‘breach of the order’ and is punishable by law.
You can choose to have other conditions that will mean your partner or ex-partner will not be able to come within a stated distance of you and the place you live and attend work. You can also choose that they are not to contact you by any means e.g. telephone, text, email or letter, or allow anyone else to contact you on their behalf (except through their legal representative).
You don’t have to be physically injured to apply for an intervention order. You can apply if you have been threatened, emotionally abused, stalked or harassed by a partner or family member, or if they have damaged your property, taken your money, forced you to have sex, or threatened to hurt your children, pets or other family members.
How do I get an Intervention Order?
There are two ways to get an intervention order:
- If the police attend a family violence incident they may take out a safety notice or interim order on your behalf. This will mean that the police will represent you at court but you will be required to attend.
- You can make your own application for an intervention order at the Magistrate’s Court. It is a good idea to ask us for more information and support or contact a legal service. You may wish to have a legal person represent you in court on the day the intervention order is heard before the magistrate.
Breaching an order
If an order is made, the violent person will not get a criminal record. But if they disobey (or ‘breach’) the order, the police can charge them with a crime. As a breach of order becomes a ‘criminal’ matter, it is important to gather evidence of the breach to take to court. You can do this by keeping a written log of any contacts and how they occurred and record the date, time, whereabouts and what happened.
It is important to report all breaches to police by calling 000.
Should I list my children on the order?
You can include your children on the intervention order which means that they are legally more protected from experiencing family violence.
An order can outline conditions and state the way that your partner or family member can have contact with your children. It’s important to have legal advice if you have a Family Court Order or parenting plan regarding your child contact arrangements.
What is an Undertaking?
Sometimes, the defendant or his legal representative may request that you accept an ‘undertaking’ rather than proceed with an application for an intervention order.
An undertaking is a promise to the court not to harass or behave in a threatening manner. As an undertaking is not legally binding and offers limited protection, we recommend obtaining an intervention order. If an undertaking is breached, you may have to go back to the court to again apply for an intervention order.