What is a Family Violence Intervention Order?
In recent years, the Victorian judicial system has increased protection for those who fear for their safety in a domestic setting. One such protection that is in place for victims of violence is a Family Violence Intervention Order, which is commonly known as an IVO. IVO’s are imposed by the court to protect a person from violence that is inflicted on them specifically by a family member.
When can you get an IVO?
You can apply for an IVO in Victoria at a Magistrates’ Court if you are over 18. If you are between 14 and 18 you may apply for an IVO with the leave of the Children’s Court. If you are under 14 your guardian/Parent may apply on your behalf.
If you require urgent or immediate protection, the court can grant an interim IVO which will remain in place until a magistrate can review your application, the evidence and make a final decision.
What type of violence does an IVO protect me from?
Family violence is defined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) as behaviour that is used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear. Family violence does not have to be physical violence and includes emotional manipulation as well as financial and sexual abuse.
Who can I take out an IVO against?
If you have experienced violence from someone close to you, they may constitute a ‘family member’ under the Act.
A family member includes both relatives by birth, such as parents and children, and those related by marriage or adoption. 
Someone that you share an intimate personal relationship with, whether you are married or de facto partners, is also considered a family member. For example, you do not need to have a sexual relationship with that person to be considered in an ‘intimate’ relationship.
What can I apply for when applying for an IVO?
When filling out the application form for an IVO, you may apply to prevent your family member from committing certain conducts. This includes prohibiting them from attending your residence, contacting you, approaching you, texting or emailing you.
If you are concerned about your child’s safety, you may include them on an application which may prevent that family member from coming within a certain distance of the child’s school or childcare facility, or contacting them even through the medium of a third party.
What happens if the person breaches a condition of an IVO?
If you believe that the family member has breached the conditions imposed by the court, the police may charge them with a criminal offence.
The punishment of such conduct can result in a term of imprisonment and/or a fine.
If you have any evidence of the person breaching the conditions, this will be helpful for the police. Try to record as much as you can about when they breached the conditions, including the date, time and incident.
How can DSA Law help?