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What is an AVO?

An AVO is an Apprehended Violence Order. It is an order to protect victims of domestic violence when they are fearful of future violence or threats to their safety. They are sometimes called restraining orders or protection orders. There are two types of AVOs:

  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO): this is made where the people involved are related or have had a domestic or intimate relationship. Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services are funded to assist women in ADVO matters.
  • Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO): this is made where the people involved are not related or do not have a domestic or intimate relationship, for example, they are neighbours, or where a person is being stalked or intimidated by someone.

An AVO is not a criminal charge. It is an order for your future protection. An AVO sets out restrictions on the other person’s behaviour, so that you can feel safe. If you have children, the order will also protect them.

How do I apply for an AVO?

There are two ways you can apply for an AVO. You can apply yourself – this is called a private application, or the police can make an application on your behalf. Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services can provide information about how to make an application yourself. If you wish to make a private application, you can do this through your Local Court or through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service will arrange legal advice for you. Some Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services work with lawyers who give free legal advice and can represent you.

The Service will help by explaining what will happen in court. They will work with police or your lawyer to make sure the AVO suits your situation. If your partner has been charged, your local Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service can also assist you with information and support while the charges are dealt with.