Apprehended Violence Orders

Have you been issued with an apprehended violence order (AVO) or are you concerned for your safety or the safety of those you have a domestic relationship with?

There are two types of AVO:

  • apprehended domestic violence orders (ADVO), and
  • apprehended personal violence orders (APVO).

ADVO are usually issued by the police after charges are made or during an investigation, especially if serious. Once issued they apply immediately and are “provisional” until they go to court. Once at court they may be consented to on a “without admission” basis pursuant to section 78(2) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act (all reference to legislation in this article is from this Act). If they are not consented to (or not consented to initially), the court may adjourn with the ADVO still applying, but moving from “provisional” to “interim”. The court can set a hearing date on the first return (section 57(1)). Relevant considerations are in section 17. The rules of evidence apply unless dispensed with by the court (section 86(g). The final order for the ADVO will be made after the respondent consents on a without admission basis or after a hearing. ADVO often run alongside other charges. For certain offences, including domestic violence offences, the ADVO is automatic on a finding of guilt (section 39). An ADVO is not a criminal record, unless it is breached (section 14).

APVO are issued by members of the public. These are usually referred to mediation pursuant to section 21 to see if the issue/s can be resolved and avoid a hearing. Unlike an ADVO, the APVO does not apply until the court makes any order (interim or final). Relevant considerations are in section 20.

The Local Court Practice Note No. 2 of 2012 provides (at 5.7) where AVO are contested evidence can be given at an interim hearing by one or more of:

  • written grounds supporting the application,
  • written statement from any witness intended to be called,
  • directly,
  • submissions from parties or their legal representatives.

Professional costs may be awarded to the successful applicant under section 99, but are limited under section 99A.

AVO may also be varied or revoked pursuant to sections 73(3).

AVO may be appealed under section 84, but there is no automatic stay (section 85).


If you have been issued with papers for an AVO or are concerned about your personal safety why not contact me NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out more about what your options are.


Anthony Stewart, Solicitor