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AVO- what you need to know

What is an AVO?

It is Apprehended Violence Order made to protect a person who fears for his/her or childs own safety from violence, intimidation, or harassment. It is an order made by the Court to restrict the offender from future contact with the victim.

You are in need of protection, then options are available. Violence need not be physical assault. It can me in many other forms like:

  • Harassment (in person or electronically)
  • Intimidation
  • Psychological abuse
  • Stalking
  • Sexual abuse
  • Obsessive or jealous behaviour

There are two types of AVO’s in NSW:

    Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO):

These orders are made where people are in a relationship, either family, de facto or intimate, living together or relatives.

    Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO):

These orders are for people who are not in domestic relationship but know each other, like neighbours, work colleagues, friends etc.

The person against whom an AVO is made is legally bound to abide by the conditions in the order. The conditions can prohibit the ‘defendant’ from approaching the person being protected, in any manner. Be it in person or by means of technology. Breach of any of the conditions can have very serious consequences and can be considered as a criminal act.

How to apply for AVO:

An AVO can be obtained by police on behalf of the person in need of protection. The police can obtain a provisional or interim/temporary AVO in case of urgency, if they fear that the person is in danger. If the person in need of protection is under 16, then the police makes an application.

Alternatively, an application can be made in the Local Court by the person itself.

An interim AVO can be obtained without any admission to the Court. So there is possibility that the interim order can be revoked at a later date if the court is not satisfied with the submissions.

The defendant can either agree or oppose the AVO. If the defendant opposes the AVO, then the person with an AVO has to prove why the AVO should be in place.

An AVO itself is not a criminal offence and is not recorded as an offence on criminal records. Though it is not a criminal offence, the police keep record of AVO on their database.

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