An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order made by the court that prohibits the defendant from certain behaviour, such as harassment, stalking, intimidation, violence or the threat of violence. The purpose of an AVO is to provide protection from this behaviour in the future – it usually states that a person cannot behave as such or go within a certain distance of the home or workplace of the person lodging the complaint.
The Court can make an AVO if a defendant consents to an AVO being made, or if evidence is heard proving that a person in need of protection fears violence or harassment by the defendant. The magistrate also has to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for these fears in order to make an AVO.
There are 2 types of Apprehended Violence Orders:
- Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) – taken against a family member including spouses, ex-spouses and intimate partners (including de facto relationships) and
- Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) – for protection from someone other than family members
If you need to make an Apprehended Violence Order, or if somebody has made and AVO against you, it is recommended to seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor immediately.
What happens if someone tries to make an AVO against you?
You can object to an Apprehended Violence Order being made against you and have the matter adjourned for trial at a later date. Under these circumstances, an interim AVO will be issued until the trial date.