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If you have immediate concerns for your safety you should call the police.
You may need an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to protect you where:
To get an AVO you will need to show that you fear the defendant and that there are reasonable grounds for you to fear the defendant.
You should report any incidents to the police. If you are scared you should talk to the police as soon as possible. The police may apply for (and issue in cases of domestic violence) a Provisional AVO (an urgent order) on your behalf.
A police application may be made either:
Police can use the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) if you have difficulties understanding or speaking English. The police can also arrange an interpreter to be at court. This is a free service.
If the police do not apply for an AVO on your behalf you can make a private application. For more information, see Step by step guide: Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order through the Local Court.
If the protected person is a person under the age of 16, only the police can apply for an AVO on their behalf.
You should provide the police officer with as much of the following information as possible:
If you are asking the police to apply for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on your behalf, you should also supply the following information:
For more information about the orders you can get and what they mean, see
Mandatory and additional orders.
After you have given your statement you will need to sign it to show that you believe the statement contains the truth. The police should give you a copy of your signed statement.
Any statement you make to the police should be true. If you make a false statement you can be charged by the police. If you want to change a statement you have made you should get legal advice.
The police can charge you for making a false or misleading statement in an AVO case. If you want to change your statement you should get
The police should then investigate the matter. If the police believe there are reasonable grounds to apply for an AVO on your behalf they should go ahead and make the application for an AVO. After investigating, the police may also decide to charge the defendant with a criminal offence (or offences).
The police will either hand deliver or post you a copy of the AVO application.
Sample: Application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (311 kb) or
text only version
Sample: Application for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (26.751 kb) or
text only version
If the police believe that a person needs urgent protection they can apply for an urgent AVO called a Provisional AVO.
After the police have made the application, they must then serve it on (give it to) the defendant personally.
The police officer that serves the application for an AVO must fill out a 'statement of service', and send it to the Court. The statement of service states when and how the application was served, so that the Court knows the defendant is aware of the application.
The police can detain defendants, or in some cases order them to go to and stay at specified locations, for the purposes of serving an AVO application on them. If they can't serve the application personally, it is possible to get a court order to bring the application to the defendant's attention in another way. This is called 'substituted service'.
You are not protected by a Provisional AVO until it is served on the defendant. For more information, see
Provisional and Interim Apprehended Violence Orders.
The application will tell the defendant the date and time they must go to court. You will also need to go to court on this date.
When the police apply for an AVO on your behalf you are represented at court by a police prosecutor.
In ADVO matters and some Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) matters, Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service can assist female applicants and, in some cases, female defendants, with applications and legal representation. For more information, see Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program on the Legal Aid NSW website.
If you have left your home because you fear the defendant and you would like to collect some of your belongings you can ask the Court to make a Property Recovery Order. If you have a Property Recovery Order the defendant must let you enter the premises to remove your property. The Court can also order that the police or another person may come with you so that you do not have to go there alone.
For more information, see
Going to court.