If you need urgent assistance or your safety is at immediate risk call the Police on 000

If you require information about available domestic violence services or emergency accommodation please call the Domestic Violence Crisis Service: at www.dvcs.org.au or on their 24hrs crisis line 02 6280 0900

Family Violence Orders

A Family Violence Order is an order made by the Court to prohibit someone from engaging in family violence towards family members.

What is family violence?

Family Violence is behaviour by a person in relation to a family member that may include:

  1. Physical violence or abuse;
  2. Sexual violence or abuse;
  3. Emotional or psychological abuse;
  4. Economic abuse;
  5. Threatening behaviour;
  6. Coercion or any other behaviour that:
    • Controls or dominates the family member; and
    • Causes the family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of the family member or another person;
  7. Behaviour that causes a child to hear or witness or otherwise be exposed to the behaviour mentioned above, or the effects of the behaviour

Without limiting any of the above, that behaviour may include:

  • Sexually coercive behaviour;
  • Damaging property;
  • Harming an animal;
  • Stalking;
  • Deprivation of liberty

Who can apply?

You may apply for a Family Violence Order if you have been affected by family violence by the person against whom you seek an order. A person may apply for their child or children who ordinarily live with them.

If your children are over the age of 18 years old, they must make their own application unless they have impaired decision making ability.  If your adult child has impaired decision-making ability, you may be appointed as their litigation guardian

A litigation guardian may apply on behalf of someone who has impaired decision making abilities.

A police officer may apply on behalf of an affected person.  If you would like the assistance of an Order Liaison Officer call Family Violence Co-ordination team at ACT Policing on 6245 7350 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

How do I apply?

You can apply for a Family Violence Order by filling in;

These forms must be lodged at the ACT Magistrates Court, Knowles Place, Canberra.

Other Common Terms Explained:

Who is an Affected Person?

a person against whom family violence has been or is likely to be committed;

Who is a Respondent?

the person against whom you seek a Family Violence Order; or

a person against whom a Family Violence Order has been made.

Who is a Protected Person?

a person who is protected under a Family Violence Order.

I have received an application for an Order/I have been served with an Interim Order – What do I do?

You will have received a notice setting out the time and date that you are required to come to Court.

The matter will be set for a preliminary conference.

If you have been served with an Interim Family Violence Order, if you agree to the Order being in place, you may complete the endorsement copy of the order that you have received and return it to Court.

If you do not agree to the application for a Family Violence Order, you must attend Court on the date of the preliminary conference or be represented by a lawyer.  If you do not attend Court on this day, a final order may be made in your absence.

Going to Court

The ACT Magistrates Court is located at 4 Knowles Pl, Canberra ACT 2601

When you arrive at the ACT Magistrates Court, proceed to the counter.

The staff at the Court will be able to assist you with procedural advice.  If you are seeking legal advice, you may be directed to ACT Legal Aid.  ACT Legal Aid have an office at the ACT Magistrates Court and can assist you in completing your application.  You can contact ACT Legal Aid on (02) 6207 1874.

If you need urgent protection, you will need to advise the Court on the application form that you are seeking an interim order.

At the time you make an application you will be advised of a date for a preliminary conference.