A family violence restraining order is intended to restrain a person (with whom you are or were, in a family relationship) who:
- Has committed family violence against you and is likely to commit family violence against you again or
- Behaves in a way that makes you believe that family violence will be committed in the future.
‘Family violence’ means violence, or a threat of violence, by a person towards a family member of the person; or any other behaviour by the person that coerces or controls the family member or causes the member to be fearful. Examples include:
- Sexual assault.
- Stalking or cyber-stalking.
- Repeated derogatory remarks.
- Damaging or destroying property.
- Causing death or injury to an animal.
- Unreasonably denying the family member the financial autonomy that the member would otherwise have had.
- Unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet reasonable living expenses.
- Preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with the member’s family, friends and culture.
- Kidnapping, or deprivation of liberty.
- Distributing or publishing, or threatening to distribute or publish, intimate personal images of the family member or
- Causing any family member who is a child to be exposed to family violence.
If you have already been attacked or threatened with violence, a criminal offence may also have been committed. You should tell the police and ask for an offence report number.
On 25 November 2017, the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme (NDVOS) commenced and every family violence restraining order made on or after that date is automatically nationally recognised under the NDVOS.
Orders that are recognised under the NDVOS can be enforced by local police across Australia, allowing a person protected by a nationally recognized order to move between States and Territories without loosing the protection of the order.
Our Perth family lawyers will advise you of your legal rights and represent you in the Magistrates Court whether you make or respond to an application for a Family Violence Restraining Order.