Family Law Library

Who can apply for an AVO?

An Apprehended Violence Order can be initiated in the form of a complaint by either the protected person or by a police officer acting on behalf of the protected person.

Any person over the age of 16 can make a complaint for an Apprehended Violence Order by registering their complaint at the Magistrates Court.

If a child is not part of an affected family member’s (the person who needs protecting) application:

  • a parent or guardian can apply for an intervention order if the child is under 18 or
  • the child can apply for an intervention order if they are 14 or older and the court agrees.

In these cases the matter is usually heard in the Children’s Court.

In certain cases, the police are obliged to apply for an Apprehended Violence Order. Circumstances for police application for apprehended violence orders include:

  • family violence situations,
  • stalking/intimidation or
  • child abuse.

This police obligation applies unless the person is at least 16 years of age and either the protected person intends to make a private complaint for an Apprehended Violence Order or the police believe there is a sufficient reason not to make the complaint.