Skip to content

What is a DVO? How to Apply for a Domestic Violence Order

What is a DVO? How to Apply for a Domestic Violence Order

What is the definition of a DVO (domestic violence order)?

Domestic violence has been recognised as a serious public health concern in Australia during the last decade, with 17 percent of women and 6% of males having experienced physical or sexual assault from a current or former partner since they were 15 years old.

Domestic abuse is defined as destructive or violent behaviour perpetrated against you by a family member or someone with whom you have a close personal relationship. Physical, sexual, emotional, social, verbal, and financial abuse are all forms of abuse in which one person exerts authority or influence over another.

What Is the Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act of 2012 (“the Act”) defines domestic violence as behaviour by a person towards another person with whom the first person has a relevant relationship that:

  • Is physically or sexually abusive;
  • or is emotionally or mentally abusive;
  • or is monetarily abusive; or is threatening;
  • or is coercive;
  • or in any other way controls or dominates the person, causing the second person to fear for their safety or the safety of others.

An intimate personal relationship, a familial relationship, or an informal care relationship are all considered “relevant relationships” under the Act. The concept is broad, encompassing all domestic connections, including those between spouses, parents, children, and caregivers.

Book a Free Consultation with a Family Law Expert.

Considering a property settlement? Find out where you stand sooner rather than later.

Application for a Domestic Violence Order

Domestic violence orders can be obtained by submitting an application to:

  • A person who claims they have been the victim of domestic abuse;
  • an authorised person acting on their behalf;
  • or a police officer.

Even if both parties do not want a domestic violence order issued, a police officer can seek one before the Court.

What is the definition of a DVO (domestic violence order)?

A domestic violence order, often known as a DVO, is a court order granted in Queensland to prohibit domestic violence. An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is the equivalent of a DVO in New South Wales, and an Intervention Order is the equivalent in Victoria (IVO). DVOs are also known as “Protection Orders” in some states of Australia.

The “respondent” (the individual who is doing the domestic violence) must abide by the DVO’s regulations and criteria. A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is intended to safeguard victims of domestic violence by restricting the abuser’s behaviour and, in some cases, their ability to interact with or come into contact with the victim.

As an example, anyone in a ‘relevant relationship’ in Queensland who has experienced domestic violence as defined by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act is eligible to apply for a DVO. The following items are included in the definition of a relevant relationship:

Obtaining a domestic violence restraining order

In Queensland, a DVO application can be made by:

  • the police force
  • those who have been wronged (victim)
  • an authorised representative for a party that has been wronged (victim)

A person who is authorised in writing by the aggrieved to make the DVO application on their behalf, or a person whom the Court believes is authorised by the aggrieved to make the application, is an authorised person for the aggrieved. If the aggrieved person is unable to sign an authority because of a disability, an authorised person may file the application on their behalf.

If you are in danger as a result of domestic violence, dial 000. A police officer will next determine whether or not a DVO application on your behalf is required. You can apply for a domestic violence order without the help of the police if you are not in immediate danger but are experiencing domestic violence.

The following is a step-by-step method to obtaining a DVO in Queensland.

You can apply for a domestic violence order here.

Need some information that relates to your circumstance?

Why not book a free appointment now with a family law expert.

Fill out the form completely and as completely as possible, describing what domestic violence occurred, when it occurred, and where it occurred. You can write or type additional information on a sheet of paper and attach it to the end of the form if there isn’t enough room on the form.

It’s critical that you give concrete examples of times when domestic violence has happened, including the date and time if available. The more explicit you can be about the alleged acts of domestic abuse, the more likely a temporary protection order will be granted. You should also include as much supporting evidence as possible in your application, such as threatening or abusive text messages from the respondent.

After completing the DVO application form, sign the statutory declaration on the form’s last page in front of a Justice of the Peace (JP) or Commissioner for Declarations (CDec).

After the application has been signed and attested, file it with the Magistrates Court in person or by mail to your local Magistrate.

The DVO application will be listed for a Court date when it is submitted to the Court, which is typically referred to as the first ‘Mention.’ The police will give the respondent a copy of the DVO application prior to this date.

The Court can make a DVO by consent without admission if all parties attend the Mention and agree to the DVO application parameters. This means that while the respondent agrees to have an order in place, he or she does not admit or concur to the claimed domestic abuse. The order obtained by consent without admission has the same effect as a court order, and if the responder violates the order, criminal charges may be brought against him/her.

If the respondent refuses to sign a DVO, the Court can issue a temporary protection order and schedule a final hearing. The temporary order can be extended by the Court until the final hearing date. Each party can provide evidence in support of their position during the final hearing, and the Judge will then decide whether or not to grant a final DVO.

What if there are children involved?

On a DVO, children might be identified as protected people. This means that the children would be subject to the same conditions as the aggrieved. The Court must be convinced that there has been ‘associated domestic violence’ before listing protected individuals on the DVO. This refers to responder behaviour that controls or dominates the victim in any way, whether physically, sexually, emotionally, economically, or in any other way.

Involved in a Parenting Dispute?

Talk to one of our early-resolution focused family law experts. Book a Free Consultation Now.

How much does a DVO cost?

The application for a DVO is free.

Will the respondent’s criminal record be tarnished as a result of getting a DVO?

The domestic violence order will not result in a criminal record in and of itself. Breaching a domestic violence order, on the other hand, is a crime.

As a result of a domestic violence order, may my partner be removed from my home?

Yes. The respondent may be asked to leave the premises where you now reside if the domestic violence order contains an “ouster order.” If you want the respondent to be removed from the home you share, you must state so in your DVO application and offer reasons why an expulsion order is essential.

Domestic abuse has long-term consequences for the victim, their children, and their families. If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are a variety of resources available to help you get the safety and assistance you need to live a life free of violence and control.

If you need help applying for a DVO, an AVO, or an IVO, we recommend that you seek legal advice before the case is heard in court.

What Should You Do Now?

At Mediations Australia, we have a team of family lawyers and mediators who can assist you in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and all other locations in Australia. We also do international family law matters.

Family law matters don't need to be complex and take years to resolve

Why not book a free appointment now with one of our early-resolution family law experts.

Get Help from Mediations Australia