Family Violence Intervention Orders in Melbourne
A family violence intervention order requires a person to abide by certain conditions as a result of the likelihood that they have been violent towards a family member, or will be in the future. An individual can apply for a family violence intervention order in Melbourne or elsewhere in Victoria. Alternately, the police can apply on behalf of the person who fears violence by a family member.
The person in need of protection in an intervention order application is referred to as the “affected family member”. The family member who the order applies to is called the “respondent”.
A family violence intervention order carries conditions that prohibit the respondent from committing family violence against the affected family member. Common conditions attached to a family violence intervention order include:
- not to commit family violence;
- not to attend a particular location;
- not to stalk the affected family member;
- not to communicate with the affected family member.
A breach of the conditions of a Family Violence Intervention Order may result in a respondent being charged with a criminal offence.
What Is Family Violence?
Family violence is defined very broadly in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 to include actions that may not constitute a criminal offence. It includes:
- physical or sexual abuse;
- emotional or psychological abuse;
- economic abuse;
- threatening or coercive behaviour;
- behaviour that controls or dominates a family member and causes the person to fear for their safety or for that of another person; and
- exposing a child to family violence.
Economic abuse is when a person behaves in a way that is coercive, deceptive or unreasonably controls another person, without the person’s consent, in one of the following ways:
- Denying them financial autonomy; or
- Withholding or threatening to withhold financial support necessary for the reasonable living expenses of the affected family member or of their child where the person is dependent on the offender’s financial support.
Family Violence Safety Notices
The police can provide an affected family member with immediate temporary protection in the form of a family violence safety notice. The police do not need to apply to a court for a family violence safety notice.
A family violence safety notice provides conditions similar those that are attached an intervention order.
The family violence safety notice should also contain the details of which court will determine the family violence intervention order application.
Interim Family Violence Intervention Orders in Melbourne
The Magistrates Court may make an interim family violence intervention order in Melbourne or elsewhere in Victoria if:
- The order is necessary to ensure the safety of the affected family member;
- The order is necessary to protect property; or
- The order is necessary to protect the affected family member’s child.
Interim Orders will generally remain in force until the application has been finalised. If you require legal advice or representation in relation to family violence intervention orders in Melbourne or in any other legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.