Are you feeling threatened, or intimidated by a family member? Section 5 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (VIC) describes family violence as behaviour towards you by a family member which is physically, emotionally, psychologically or economically abusive; is threatening or coercive; in any way controls or dominates you; or if the behaviour causes a child to hear or see the effects of this behaviour.
What is a family violence intervention order, and how do I apply for one?
You can apply at your local Magistrates Court, or if you have made a complaint to the police they may make the application on your behalf. You can also apply for an interim intervention order, especially if you need protection straight away. The order is made by the Magistrates Court which restricts behaviour of a family member by stating what they can do, and where they can go. It can prohibit a family member from behaving offensively, approaching you, attending premises where you work or frequent, contacting or communication with you in any manner, or arranging another person to do what they have been restricted from doing. Your children can also be included in your application.
Who is a family member?
A family member includes not only the normal definition of family such as spouse, parent, child, grandparent, but can also include someone you have had an intimate relationship with or someone that is “like” a family member.
What happens if they breach the family violence intervention order?
The application for a family violence intervention order is classed as a civil matter between yourself and the respondent. However, if they breach the order it becomes a criminal matter and the police will charge them accordingly. Breaching the order can result in fines or imprisonment for up to two years.