Intervention Orders – What Are They?

Civil orders that prohibit a person from committing a certain action against another person, intervention orders (formerly known as restraining orders) are typically granted to protect people from domestic or family violence. For an experienced intervention order lawyer, Melbourne locals rely on the team at Robert Wood and Associates. We can provide expert assistance and help you understand the process of applying for an intervention order. Here we will look at the two types of orders and what they both mean.

What is a Family Violence Intervention Order (FIVO)?

This is for matters which involve harassment from a family member, partner, ex-partner or relative. It is designed to protect a person, their children and their property from mental or physical harm from a member of their own family.

Depending on the conditions, the respondent (the person the order is made against) might be required to:

  • stop the behaviour.
  • not contact or communicate with the protected person, or get another person to do it for them.
  • not go to or stay near the protected person.

For family violence intervention orders, family members are considered:

  • people who share an intimate personal relationship, whether there is a sexual relationship or not— married, de facto or domestic partners
  • parents and children, including children of an intimate partner
  • relatives by birth, marriage or adoption
  • people treated as a family member, this could be a carer, guardian, or other person who is related within the family structure of your culture.

What Is Considered Family Violence?

Anything that is harmful behaviour, used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear is considered family violence or domestic abuse. Such behaviour may include:

  • physical acts that cause harm including hitting, punching or pushing.
  • sexual abuse, including pressuring a person to behave sexually in ways they are not comfortable.
  • emotional or psychological abuse, such as controlling who a person can see or where they can go.
  • financial abuse, such as controlling how a person uses money.

Police must respond to all reports of domestic or family violence. They can act even if a person does not want them to, as they must put the safety of a person and their children first.

What is a Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO)?

This is a second type of intervention order, however, it protects a person, their children and their property from the behaviour of a person whom is not a family member. This could be a neighbour, friend, colleague, landlord or other person who is not related and behaviour it can protect from includes assault, harassment, threats, stalking and property damage. Personal safety intervention orders may be known as restraining or apprehended violence orders in other states and territories. There are conditions and rules under the order that must be followed by the respondent.

Applying for an Order

Any person can obtain an application for an intervention order in Victoria should they be in fear of their safety. Applications can also be made by police officers if they believe that an individual needs protection. In circumstances where the court considers that a person is in danger, they will make an interim order without the respondent present and this will then be served upon the respondent in due course.

What If You Are Served with an Order?

If you are served with a family violence or personal safety intervention order, you will receive a copy of the order that will explain what you can and can’t do and how long it will last for.

You can then:

  • agree to the order while disagreeing with what is said about you in the application – this is called ‘consent without admissions’.
  • argue against the order, however you will need to attend court for a contested hearing.
  • offer an undertaking, but the applicant must agree to this.

You must follow the conditions of the order. In any case, an intervention order is a civil matter and breaking the conditions will make it a criminal matter.

Need an Intervention Order Lawyer in Melbourne?

If you would like more information about how to make an application for a family violence or personal safety intervention order, our team is here to help. Similarly, if you have been served with an order and need expert legal advice, get in touch with us today. Make an appointment by calling (03) 9762 3877 or enquire online now.

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