An intervention order (formerly referred to as a restraining
order) is a court order to prohibit a person (the defendant) from
committing an act of abuse on a protected person and to protect any
child who may be exposed to the effects of abuse committed by the
defendant against the protected person. An intervention order
can be sought in domestic (family) situations and also in
non-domestic (non family) situations.
An act of abuse is not just limited to physical abuse but also
- Physical injury; or
- Emotional or psychological harm; or
- An unreasonable and non-consensual denial of financial, social
or personal autonomy; or
- Damage to property in the ownership or possession of the person
or used or otherwise enjoyed by the person.
If you are a party to an intervention order it is important to
obtain advice as to how intervention orders operate with Family
Law Act orders. If an intervention order is inconsistent
with a Family Law Act order, those parts of the
intervention order will be invalid. However a court may
resolve any inconsistency by reviving, varying, discharging or
suspending the Family Law Act order.
There is no sunset clause (expiry date) to intervention
orders. There is the potential an intervention order could
last indefinitely. The court will fix a date (minimum period
of 12 months) which thereafter the defendant may apply to
vary or revoke the order. The protected person can at any
time apply to the court to vary or revoke the order.
There are further orders that may be available to you other than
just the intervention order. You may wish to seek advice
about how to apply for an intervention order, what the process
entails and what to expect.
An intervention order may be coupled with criminal charges or
may proceed alone. In both scenarios you may be ordered to
undergo an assessment for an Abuse Prevention Program and may then
be ordered to participate in that program. Failure to do so
would result in a sanction from the court.
An intervention order may effect you in many different ways that
may not be as apparent on the face of it.
If you have been served with an interim intervention order your
prompt action is necessary as there are strict time frames attached
to the proceedings.