Legal Protection Against Violence: All About AVOs


In a society where safety is paramount, legal measures are often sought to protect individuals from threats of violence or harassment. One such measure is the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), a legal document issued by the court to prevent acts of violence or intimidation towards a person. This blog will discuss all aspects of AVOs, including how AVO lawyers can help. 

Understanding Apprehended Violence Orders

AVOs, also known as restraining or protection orders, are issued by the court to protect individuals from threats, harassment, or violence. They are typically sought in situations involving domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or other forms of personal danger. AVOs can impose various restrictions on the person against whom the order is made, including prohibiting contact, staying away from particular locations, or refraining from specific behaviors.

Types of AVOs

Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs)

DVOs are issued in cases involving violence or threats of violence between people who have a domestic relationship, such as spouses, partners, family members, or people living in the same household. These orders aim to protect victims of domestic violence and their children from further harm.

Personal Violence Orders (PVOs)

PVOs are issued in situations where there is no domestic relationship between the parties involved but where one person seeks protection from another who has engaged in violent or threatening behavior toward them. These orders are commonly sought in cases of stalking, harassment, or assault by acquaintances, neighbors, or strangers.

How These Orders Work

Applying for an AVO

To obtain this order, an individual (known as the applicant) must apply with the court, outlining the reasons for seeking protection and providing evidence of the alleged violence or threats. The court will then assess the application and, if satisfied with reasonable grounds for issuing the order, will grant a temporary or interim order until a hearing can be held.


At the AVO hearing, the applicant and the respondent (the person against whom the order is sought) can present their case before a magistrate or judge. The court will consider proof from both parties, including witness statements, police reports, and any other relevant evidence, before deciding on whether to issue the order and what conditions it should include.

Conditions of AVOs

The conditions can vary depending on the case’s circumstances and the parties’ specific needs. Typical conditions may include:

● Prohibiting the respondent from contacting or approaching the applicant.

● Attending specific locations.

● Engaging in certain behaviors.

Breaching these conditions is a criminal offense and can cause severe penalties.

Obtaining The Order

Seeking Legal Advice

Before applying, seeking legal advice from qualified AVO lawyers specializing in domestic violence or family law is advisable. A lawyer can guide the legal process, help prepare the application, and represent the applicant in court if necessary.

Gathering Evidence

Evidence is crucial in AVO proceedings to support the applicant’s claims of violence or threats. This may include witness statements, photographs, medical records, police reports, or other documentation corroborating the allegations.

Attending Court

Applicants are required to attend court for the hearing to present their case and provide evidence. It is essential to be prepared, stay calm, and follow the instructions of the magistrate or judge during the proceedings.

Contesting an AVO

Seeking Legal Representation

The respondent can contest the order and present their case in court if served with an AVO application. It is beneficial to get legal representation from an experienced lawyer who can challenge the allegations and defend against the imposition of an AVO.

Providing Evidence

Respondents should gather evidence to refute the allegations against them and demonstrate that the order is unnecessary or unwarranted. This may include witness statements, alibis, communications or interactions contradicting the applicant’s claims, or evidence of the applicant’s behavior.

Attending Court

Respondents must attend court for the hearing to contest the order and present their evidence. It is essential to comply with all court orders and procedures and to respect the magistrate or judge’s decisions throughout the process.


Apprehended Violence Orders play a crucial role in providing legal protection against violence, harassment, and intimidation. Whether seeking protection from domestic violence or contesting allegations of misconduct, understanding the intricacies of AVOs is vital for navigating the legal system effectively. By seeking legal advice, gathering evidence, and following the proper procedures, individuals can obtain or contest AVOs with confidence, ensuring their safety and rights are upheld in matters of personal protection.

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