Family violence remains a major issue in Australia, where on average, one woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner, 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner and nearly 40% of women continued to experience violence from their partner while temporarily separated. Whilst both women and men are victims of family violence, women are nearly three times more likely to fall victim than men.
In Victoria, there are two types of interventions orders that can be made in the Magistrates’ Court:
- Family violence intervention orders
- Personal safety intervention orders
In Victoria, a person applying contacts the nearest Magistrates’ Court to make an appointment and then completes the application for a family violence IVO or the application for a personal safety IVO as relevant. The completed form is then taken to the appointment where it is considered by a registrar. If approved, the registrar will issue appropriate documents, which will then be served upon the respondent by police. The application is then heard and determined by a magistrate.
Respondents served with an IVO application should immediately seek legal advice as the making of an order can have far-reaching and unexpected consequences. The order remains in place until it expires or is cancelled by a magistrate. If the order is breached, criminal penalties apply, which may include imprisonment. Upon hearing, a court may strike out the application, refuse to make an IVO, or make an interim or final IVO.