An intervention order is a court order designed to protect a person, their children and their property from someone who is using violence, threatening them or making them feel unsafe.
There are two types of intervention orders:
- family violence intervention order (FVIO) - a court order to protect a person, their children and their property from a family member, partner or ex-partner
- personal safety intervention order (PSIO) - a court order to protect a person, their children and their property from another person who is not a family member
An intervention order is a civil matter and will not appear on a criminal record. However, if a respondent breaks the rules on an intervention order they can be charged by the police with a criminal offence – this is called a “breach”.
The affected family member or affected person is the person that is protected by an intervention order.
The applicant is the individual who has asked the court to make an intervention order. This may be the affected family member/affected person or someone else such as a police officer, child protection worker or parent/guardian.
The respondent is the person who the application is made against.
When can an intervention order be made?
Family violence intervention orders
The court can make a family violence intervention order if it reasonably believes that:
- the respondent has used family violence against the affected family member; and/or
- the respondent has caused a child to witness/overhear/be exposed to family violence; and/or
- it is likely that the respondent will continue to use family violence towards the affected family member if there is no court order; and/or
- the intervention order is needed to protect the affected family member and keep them safe.
When considering a family violence intervention order “family violence” has a broad definition and can mean behaviour by the respondent towards the affected family member that is:
- physically or sexually abusive
- emotionally or psychologically abusive
- economically abusive
- in any other way controls or dominates a family member and causes them to feel fear for their own safety or that of another family member
Personal Safety Intervention Orders
The court can make a personal safety intervention order if it reasonably believes that:
- the respondent has used prohibited behaviour against the affected person; and/or
- It is likely that the respondent will continue to use prohibited behaviour towards the affected person and/or
- The intervention order is needed to protect the affected person and keep them safe
When considering a personal safety intervention order prohibited behaviour means:
- sexual assault
- Harassment (this might include following the affected person, hanging around them at school or work, making unwanted phone calls to them or sending them unwanted emails or text messages
- property damage or interference
- making a serious threat
When is an application for an intervention order heard in the Children's Court?
This happens when:
- either the affected family member/affected person or the respondent is under 18 years old; or
- the affected family member/affected person and the respondent are both over 18 years old and there is a child protection proceeding before the court involving a child who is under the care/supervision of either of those adults; or
- the affected family member/affected person and the respondent are both over 18 years old and there is a child protection proceeding before the court that raises the same or similar concerns about the child’s safety as those raised in the intervention order.