South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Personal safety intervention orders

For Female Survivors, Male Survivors

Tags: Family Violence, Legal Information, Sexual Harassment

Author: Springvale Monash Legal Service

A personal safety intervention order is an order made by a magistrate to protect a person from harm caused by someone who is not a family member. If you and the person committing the violence are family members please see the What Can I Do About Family Violence information sheet.

A magistrate may make a personal safety intervention order if the person who has committed the violence (called the respondent) has done any of the following to the person experiencing the violence (the affected person):

  • Physical assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Harassment;
  • Property damage or interference;
  • Making a serious threat to kill or injure someone; or
  • Stalking

You can apply for a personal safety intervention order at your local Magistrates’ Court by filing out the information for application and signing it in front of the Registrar. There is no charge. The following people can make an application for a personal safety intervention order:

  • The affected person;
  • A police officer;
    • A police officer may apply for an intervention order on your behalf even if you do not want them to. They will do this if they believe your safety is threatened.
  • If you are an adult, any other person with the affected person’s written consent; or
  • If you are a child:
    • A parent;
    • Any other person with the written consent of a parent or with leave of the court
    • If you are over 14 years of age, you may apply with the leave of the court
  • A guardian of the affected person.

If you also fear for the safety of your children, you can include them as affected persons on your application for an intervention order.

When you fill out the application, there are a number of conditions listed on the form. You need to tick all the conditions that you would like to be included in the intervention order. These conditions include stopping the respondent from:

  • Stalk or commit any of the other prohibited behaviours;
  • Attempting to follow, locate or keep the person under surveillance;
  • Publishing any material on the internet about the affected person;
  • Contacting the affected person;
  • Approaching or coming within a certain distance of the affected person;
  • Going or remaining within a certain distance of where the affected person lives, works, attends school or childcare;
  • Getting another person to do anything the respondent must not do under the order.

Once an order is made you are considered a “protected person”. The intervention order will contain a number of conditions that stop the respondent from committing any more acts of violence. The conditions that the order contains may not be the same as the ones you chose on the application. This is because the magistrate makes the final decision about what conditions are to be included in the order.

There are two stages to a personal safety intervention order:

Interim order - you can apply for an interim order if you feel that you need protection straight away. A magistrate will make an interim order if they believe a person needs immediate protection. An interim order will protect you until a final hearing is held where a magistrate will decide whether a final order should be made. That is, an interim order is a temporary order which needs to be justified and granted by a magistrate if it is to become a permanent order; and

Final order - A final order will be made if the court is believes that the respondent has threatened your safety and is likely to do so again. A final order will protect you for the amount of time ordered by the court.

If a final order is made, but you are finding it difficult to live with, you can apply to the court to have it changed or revoked at any time.

If the respondent breaks any conditions of an intervention order you should write down exact details of what happened and call the police. Breaching an intervention order is very serious and the police can charge the respondent with a criminal offence.

Links

Personal safety intervention order application form

 

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