What is an intervention order?
This is a special court order to protect you from family violence. It is a court order made by a magistrate in a Magistrates’ Court.
An intervention order sets rules for the violent person.
For example, the order can say that your partner, ex- or family member:
- Is not allowed to threaten, hurt or harass you
- Is not allowed to contact you in any way
- Has to stay out of the family home
- Is not allowed to come near your school, workplace or other areas
If an order is made, the violent person will not get a criminal record. But if they disobey (or ‘breach’) the order, the police can charge them with a crime. This 5 minute film ‘What if the intervention order is breached?’ shows you how to collect evidence safely.
You don’t have to have been physically injured to get an intervention order. You can apply for one if you have been threatened, emotionally abused, stalked or harassed by a partner or family member, or if they have damaged your property, taken your money, forced you to have sex, or threatened to hurt your children, pets or other family members.
The order can also protect your kids. It can have conditions on it about how your partner or family member can have contact with your kids. It’s important to get legal advice if you have a Family Court order or parenting plan regarding your child contact arrangements.
How do I apply for an intervention order?
You can apply at your local Magistrates’ court or police can apply for one on your behalf.
If it’s an emergency and the court is closed, police may be able to arrange a Family Violence Safety Notice which gives you temporary protection.
Contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (03) 9689 9588 to find out more and to get support.
This video by Eastern Community Legal Centre shows how to apply for an intervention order:
Can I remove the violent person from my home?
Yes, you can apply for an intervention order that orders the violent person to move out. You can stay in the home and they have to keep away from you. This is called an ‘exclusion’ condition – the order excludes them from the home.
Even if they’re on the lease of a rental or public housing property you share, or if they own the home with you, the law can still tell them to leave.
If you want to apply for an intervention order to stay in your home, make sure you discuss getting an exclusion condition with a police officer, lawyer, court registrar or support worker.
Will an intervention order make me safer?
If the violent person is nervous of the police or worried about being charged with a crime, they might obey the intervention order. But if they are determined to harass you and think they can get away with it, or if they don’t have any regard for the law, then they might ignore the order.
You know better than anyone whether your partner/ex-partner/family member is likely to take the order seriously and stay away.
If you do take out an intervention order, you can:
- Call the police any time the person contacts you or disobeys the order. If there is evidence to show that they disobeyed the order, the police can charge them with a crime.
- Keep notes, take photos and keep any messages or texts as evidence to show that the person has disobeyed the order. See our guide and video How to collect evidence safely.
- Tell family, friends, neighbours and your workplace that this person is not to contact you. Ask them not to give out your contact details.
- Keep the intervention order with you at all times and give copies to family and friends.