Family Law Library

What is an Intervention Order (or Apprehended Violence Order)?

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a Court Order affecting the person you have taken the Order against. The Order might prohibit certain behaviour or restrict certain activities. The Order is made by the court that prohibits the defendant from certain behaviour, such as harassment, stalking, intimidation, violence or the threat of violence. The purpose of an AVO is to provide protection from this behaviour in the future, it usually states that a person cease the behavior or must not go within a certain distance of the home or workplace of the person lodging the complaint. It may also prohibit the person from contacting you directly or through a third party. Other conditions may also be included.

The Court can make an AVO if a defendant consents to an AVO being made, or if evidence is heard proving that a person in need of protection fears violence or harassment by the defendant. The magistrate also has to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for these fears in order to make an AVO.

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Orders:

  • personal safety intervention orders and
  • family violence intervention orders.

A personal safety intervention order is a court order that protects a person from physical or mental harm caused by a person who is not a family member.

You can get an order to protect yourself, your children, property or people supporting you from the following behaviour:

  • assault and sexual assault,
  • harassment,
  • stalking,
  • making a serious threat or
  • property damage or interference.

In most cases these behaviours have to happen more than once to get an intervention order. They must also be deliberate. The person must know (or should have known) that their behaviour would be likely to cause harm, apprehension or fear.

A family violence intervention order is a court order that protects a person from a family member who is using family violence. An order can also protect children, property or people supporting the protected person.

A protected person is someone protected by an intervention order. It can also be a person protected by a family violence safety notice.