Violence and intimidation in personal relationships is not tolerated in Australia.
This has been well recognised and the legislators have enacted the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 in New South Wales to protect persons from various types of abuse, such as physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse including intimidation and stalking. When a person is in fear of their safety from another person, there are two types of Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) available in New South Wales:
- Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) – these orders are made when the parties are related, living together, are living in the same residential facility, are in a carer relationship, or in an intimate relationship with each other. This includes individuals who were previously in such a relationship; and
- Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) – these orders are made if there is abuse being committed between people who are not related and do not have domestic relationship. This includes neighbours or work colleagues.
The Police, when they believe that a person is subject to such abuse, are able to issue a provisional AVO before the alleged assailant appears in Court. A person in fear may make their own application to the Court for an order. Any provisional order or order of the Court must include the following orders preventing the defendant from:
- Assaulting, threatening, molesting, harassing, or interfering with the protected person;
- Stalking or threatening the protected person; and
- Intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging any property belonging to the protected person.
- And any other orders the Court believes that are necessary to protect the person.
Protection of people’s safety is very important. Requesting the Police or applying for an AVO should only be undertaken when the circumstances are appropriate. The Courts will not tolerate any person abusing another. The Courts and legislators recognise that abused will probably be pressured by their abusers to change their story. In recognition of this, the Courts accept as primary evidence, the recordings from the police body cameras or interview recordings, as primary evidence of what has occurred. Any retraction by a person who has reported such abuse, will usually be considered as being made under duress.
If you need a solicitor to help requesting or challenging an ADVO or APVO, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
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I am available to discuss legal matters either in my office or by Zoom conference; please note that notary services must be undertaken in person.