An Intervention Order (IVO) is a legally enforceable court order which aims to protect you or your family from someone who is using violence or making you feel unsafe. In cases of family violence, police can apply for an IVO on your behalf (even without your permission) or you can apply for an IVO yourself.
In this blog, we look at:
The definition of family violence is broad. Victims often dismiss their experiences or don’t seek help because they don’t consider the conduct of their partner to be serious enough to warrant action.
Family violence is defined by the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 as:
“behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour –
Notably, the definition of family violence also includes causing a child to hear or be exposed to any of the above behaviours.
If you believe that you are a victim of family violence, then you may be able to apply for an Intervention Order for your safety and protection.
An IVO contains conditions which restrict the other person’s behaviour, such as stopping them from:
An IVO may also be known as a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO), Domestic Violence Order (DVO), Family Violence Order (FVO), Violence Restraining Order (VRO) or protection order.
There are two options for applying for an IVO.
Firstly, you should contact 000 if you have any immediate concerns for your safety. The police must respond to all reports of family violence and will conduct a risk assessment.
In some circumstances, the police may apply for an IVO on your behalf (even if you do not want them to). The police can also issue a family violence safety notice on the spot if a person needs immediate protection. The safety notice can last up to 14 days providing time for an application for an IVO to be made.
An individual who is at risk of family violence can apply for an IVO online by visiting the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria website.
If you wish to make an IVO application, you will be asked to provide information including but not limited to the following:
It is important that the information provided within the IVO application is clear and concise and that you accurately detail any recent incidents of family violence. We can assist you to complete the application form if required.
Once the Court receives your application, you will be contacted by a Family Violence Registrar to explain the next steps. It is important that you obtain legal advice and attend any Court hearings.
Generally, an IVO is made for a period of between 12 to 24 months. However, ultimately, it is up to the Magistrate to determine how long the IVO should last. In some extreme and rare circumstances, orders can be made indefinitely.
If the Respondent breaches the IVO or there are allegations of ongoing family violence, you may be able to apply to extend the IVO but this must be done before the original order expires.
An IVO is a civil order. That is, it is not part of the criminal law jurisdiction.
Breaching an IVO is a criminal offence and is taken seriously. It is important that breaches are reported to the police.
If you believe that you are the victim of family violence, here are some things you should consider:
As always, if you or your children are in immediate danger, call the police on 000.
Although the process to apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order may seem relatively straightforward, it is important to consider the implications that an IVO may have in your unique circumstances.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss whether an Intervention Order may be appropriate for you, please contact us to speak with one of our lawyers.
This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Emera Family Law.