Applications include a list of the orders that can be ‘tailor-made’ for the protection required by an applicant. For example, one person might want to stop all contact with the defendant, while another might want to continue living with the defendant provided the defendant agrees to stay away for 12 hours after drinking alcohol.
Three orders are automatically included in all AVOs unless the court otherwise orders. Known as ‘mandatory orders’, these prohibit the defendant from:
- assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or otherwise interfering with the protected person or anyone who has a domestic relationship with them
- intimidating the protected person or anyone who has a domestic relationship with them
- stalking the protected person or anyone who has a domestic relationship with them.
In addition to the mandatory orders, there are twelve standard orders. Not all the standard orders need to be in an AVO; only the orders necessary for the person’s protection should be included in an application. Orders fall into four categories:
- exclusion orders prohibiting the defendant from residing, entering, or going within a specified distance of the protected person’s home or work
- contact restriction orders restricting the defendant from approaching, contacting or telephoning the protected person(s)
- property protection orders prohibiting the defendant from destroying or deliberately damaging or interfering with the property of the protected person
- orders listing additional protected persons on the AVO.
A court is not bound to make standard orders; it can impose whatever restrictions or prohibitions it thinks are necessary in the circumstances for the safety and protection of the protected person and any affected children and the protected person’s property.
When the court makes an AVO it can make an additional order for personal property to be collected from one or the other party’s premises at a specified time and in the company of a police officer or other person if need be. This is called an ‘Ancillary Property Order’.
Does a protected person’s address go on the AVO?
The court must not put the home address or the address where the protected person intends to live on an AVO unless the court is satisfied that:
- the protected person is 16 years of age or over and consents to the address being stated in the order
- the defendant knows the address
- it is necessary to state the address to achieve compliance with the order and the personal safety of the protected person(s) would not be seriously threatened, or damage would not be likely to be caused to any of the property of the protected person by stating the address.
Sam and Vic are separated. Sam is listed as the protected person in a final AVO against Vic due to domestic violence. Sam fled and Vic does not know Sam’s current address which has remained undisclosed through court proceedings. Vic finds out Sam’s address after logging into Sam’s eBay account. Vic’s car is parked outside Sam’s house.
Even though there is no specific order for Vic to not approach Sam’s house, Sam should still call the police and report the breach of the AVO as Vic is in breach of a mandatory order ‘must not stalk’. Vic’s behaviour in tracking down Sam’s whereabouts is of significant concern and Sam can seek protection from the police and other domestic violence services, such as a referral to a women’s refuge.