Intervention Orders (IVOs) involve difficult and sensitive matters that should be taken very seriously. There are two types of IVOs:
1. A Family Violence Intervention Order: This helps to protect you from a family member who is violent or emotionally abusive towards you.
2. A Personal Safety Intervention Order: This helps to protect you from someone who is not related to you and often occurs with neighbours.
How can an IVO help me exactly?
An IVO has conditions to stop the respondent (the offender) from:
- Harassing, threatening or intimidating you
- Being near your house
- Contacting you or
- Damaging your property.
How do I apply for an IVO?
You can apply for an IVO at any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria if you are over 18. An appointment may be necessary depending on the Court, so it’s advised to call ahead and make an appointment before you go in. Depending on your circumstances you may have a member of the Victorian Police assist you with your application. Taking someone with you like a trusted friend or family member is also recommended so you have additional support by your side to help you tell your side of the story.
What happens at Court with my IVO Application?
Interim Orders – a magistrate can make an Interim Order if they believe you are not safe and need protecting immediately. An Interim Order usually lasts until a magistrate decides whether to make a Final Order.
Final Orders – a magistrate can make a Final Order after all evidence against the respondent is heard at a contested hearing. The magistrate must be satisfied that the respondent is guilty of harassment or violence and is likely to commit these acts again.
Can I apply for an IVO if I’m under 18?
Yes. You can apply for an IVO at the Children’s Court if you are between 14 and 18 years old or if you’re applying for your child who is under 18 and not part of your application.
What if there’s no Physical Violence involved?
You can get an IVO even if no physical violence has happened in your personal situation. Emotional abuse is just as harmful as physical abuse. You should apply for an IVO if the respondent has done any of the following actions, and is likely to do it again:
- Harassed you
- Behaved offensively
- Assaulted or threatened you
- Damaged or threatened to damage your property
- Harmed or threated to harm your pets and
- Caused you to fear for your safety or a family member’s safety.
What happens if the Respondent Breaches the IVO?
The penalties for breaching an IVO are severe. They can include the following for:
- Family Violence IVO – the respondent is looking at facing up to 5 years imprisonment and $90,000 fine depending on the seriousness of the breaking the conditions of the order.
- Personal Safety IVO – the offender could face up to 2 years imprisonment and $36,000 fine.
Do I need a Lawyer before I apply for an IVO?
IVOs can be life changing and complicated to manage by yourself. It’s always best to seek legal advice before you go to court to make the application.
At Le Brun & Associates, we understand applying for an Intervention Order is a sensitive matter and it can be upsetting to recall your experiences. Our team of compassionate and experienced lawyers are dedicated to providing accurate, fast and cost-effective advice. Contact us today for your free 30-minute consultation to discuss your best options.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing ongoing family violence, call 1800RESPECT or visit their website here for more resources and confidential advice. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 000.