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Call: +61 3 8600 6000

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Domestic Violence

Aitken Partners has a team of lawyers with experience in both defending and prosecuting domestic violence matters, including family violence and stalking. If you believe you are in danger from domestic violence, or you have been served with an Intervention Order, we urge you to contact us now.

Our services in this area include:

  • Applying for Intervention Orders or responding to being served with an Intervention Order.
  • Assistance with criminal breaches of an Intervention Order.

We understand the toll that family violence can have, both on the victims and those close to them. Our solicitors work tirelessly to ensure that our clients can feel safe and protected in their own homes and that they no longer have to worry about their wellbeing or their family’s wellbeing.

When they work with our lawyers, clients will experience a personalised and attentive method of legal representation. We ensure that our clients always feel supported and heard and are always aware of exactly where their case stands.


The Family Violence Protection Act 2008 defines family violence as:

  1. Behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour:
    1. is physically or psychologically abusive; or
    2. is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
    3. is economically abusive; or
    4. is threatening; or
    5. is coercive; or
    6. in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person; or
  2. Behaviour that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of, behaviour referred to in paragraph (a).

Obtaining an intervention order

To obtain an Intervention Order the Applicant/Affected Family Member must go online to the Magistrates’ Court Website and make the application online. The application must contain details of the most recent incident of family violence and the events that have occurred in the past. Children can also be included in the application as protected persons.

If the Applicant/Affected Family Member requires immediate protection for their and/or their children’s safety, they must nominate that they are applying for an Interim Intervention Order for their immediate protection. An Interim Order is a temporary order that will last for the duration of the proceedings.

Upon submission of the application online, the Registrar will assess if the Applicant/Affected Family Member should appear before a Magistrate urgently for the making of an Interim Intervention Order. The Applicant/Affected Family Member may appear online or in person to give evidence before the Magistrate to support their application for an Interim Intervention Order.

Once the Interim Order is made, the Police will serve the Respondent with the Application and Summons for the Intervention Order and also the Interim Order, if one has been made. If an Interim Order has been made, it becomes binding on the Respondent once the Police have served the Respondent.

The matter will then return to court. On the first return, the Respondent has a number of options. These options are as follows:

  1. The Respondent can consent to give the court an undertaking that he/she will not engage in any family violence. An undertaking is not an Order of the Court, it is a promise that the Respondent makes to the court. The Applicant/Affected Family Member will withdraw their application however, they have a right of reinstatement if the Respondent, at a later date, breaches the undertaking.
  2. The other option that the Respondent has is to offer the Affected Family Member a Final Intervention Order with a denial of the allegations contained in the complaint. If the Respondent consents to this Order being made, the Magistrate will make a Final Intervention Order for the protection of the applicant/affected family member. The length of time for the validity of the Intervention Order is usually determined by the Magistrate.
  3. If the Respondent is not prepared to offer an undertaking or consent to an Intervention Order with a denial of the allegations, the matter will be adjourned and listed for a Directions Hearing. The Interim Intervention Order will continue to be binding on the Respondent.

At the Directions Hearing, the Respondent again has the option of offering an undertaking or consenting to an Intervention Order with a denial of the allegations. If the Respondent continues to refuse to settle the matter, the Magistrate will adjourn the proceedings to a contested hearing. Again, the Interim Intervention Order will continue to be binding on the Respondent.

At the Contested Hearing the Magistrate will hear evidence from both parties and from any witnesses that they call. The Applicant/Affected Family Member provides their evidence first and the Lawyer for the Respondent has the opportunity to cross examine the Applicant. If the Applicant calls any witnesses, they will give their evidence next.

The Respondent then enters the witness box and gives evidence and is also able to be cross examined by the affected family member’s lawyer. The Respondent can also call any witnesses.

Following all the evidence, the Magistrate must be satisfied that:

  • There was family violence in the past; and
  • On the balance of probabilities that there is likely to be violence in the future.

Upon being satisfied of those two things, the Magistrate can make an Intervention Order against the Respondent. The duration of the Intervention Order is determined by the Magistrate.

Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010

Intervention Orders are also available for people in a non-family relationship. We are also able to provide advice, assistance and representation regarding Intervention Orders for non-family members.

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