​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Getting an Apprehended Violence Order

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order that protects you from violence by a person that you fear.

You can apply for an AVO if you:

  • are experiencing or have been threatened with physical violence
  • are being intimidated, harassed, molested or stalked by someone
  • have suffered or been threatened with property damage. 

Alert icon If you have immediate concerns for your safety, you should call the police. 

This section has information about:

    Applying ​​for an Apprehended Violence Order

    An application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can be made by:

    • a police officer
    • a guardian appointed under a guardianship order
    • yourself.

    Alert IconIf you are under 16 years of age, the police must apply for the AVO on your behalf. You can't apply for an AVO yourself.

    For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders to protect children.

    This section covers:

    • Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order through the Local Court or the police
    • Provisional and Interim Apprehended Violence Orders
    • Final Apprehended Violence Orders
    • Mandatory and additional orders
    • Costs in Apprehended Violence Order cases
    • Recoverying personal property

    For more information, see Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order.

    Going to court

    The first court date is called a 'mention'. You will usually appear before a magistrate or registrar.

    The magistrate or registrar will want to know:

    • if you (or the police) still want the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)
    • how the defendant wants to respond to the application.

    Depending on what you and the defendant want to do, your application may be dealt with on the day or it may be adjourned (postponed) to another day.

    This section covers:

    • The mention
    • Preparing your evidence
    • The hearing
    • The decision. 

    For more information, see Going to court.

    After court

    At the end of your case, the Court will either:

    • make a Final Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), or
    • dismiss the application. 
    If the application is dismissed, you may be able to:
    • appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days
    • re-apply for an AVO. 

    If a Final AVO is made, you will be protected by the AVO.

    The defendant may apply to:

    • annul the AVO
    • appeal the decision. 

    Both you and the defendant may also apply to have the AVO varied or revoked.

    Only police can apply to vary or revoke an order if children are named on the order.

    This section covers:

    • What to do if an Apprehended Violence Order is breached
    • Varying (changing) or revoking (cancelling) an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Interstate orders
    • Annulment application
    • Appeals
    • Immigration and Apprehended Violence Orders. 

    For more information, see After court.

    Victims Support Scheme

    If you have been the victim of violence, you may be able to seek help under the Victims Support Scheme.

    This section covers:

    • What support is available?
    • How can I find out more information?
    • Can I apply for any other compensation?

    For more information, see Victims Support Scheme.

    Immigra​​​tion and Apprehended Violence Orders

    If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may need to change your visa if you are no longer living with the defendant.

    For more information, see Immigration and Apprehended Violence Orders.

    Apprehended Violence Orders to protect children

    There are different rules that apply when applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to protect a child. 

    A child under 16 years of age cannot apply by themselves for an AVO for their protection. The application must be made by the police. 

    A child over 16 years of age can apply by themselves for an AVO. 

    This section covers:

    • Applying for an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Going to court for an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Withdrawing an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Varying (changing) or revoking (cancelling) an Apprehended Violence Order
    • Children listed as protected persons on Apprehended Violence Orders. 

    Case study

    Case study - Elizabeth and GaryCase study icon

    Elizabeth and Gary have been married for four years. They have an 18-month-old daughter. Gary has been out of work for four months. Elizabeth has been working longer hours to try and pay the bills but things have been really tense. Gary has always had a bad temper but lately things have become worse. He puts Elizabeth down, calling her "useless" and "lazy". Two weeks ago, he pushed Elizabeth over causing her to break her arm. Elizabeth told her doctor about what has been happening and her doctor encouraged her to go to the police. Elizabeth feels helpless and doesn't know what to do. ​​

    Protected person at police station

    Further​ inf​orm​​ation

    Intellectual Disability Rights Service - Get to know your AVO

    Legal Aid NSW - Wom​en's ​​Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service

    NSW Communities & Justice - ADVOs: Changes to Duration Factsheet

    NSW Communities & Justice - Domestic Violence

    NSW Communities & Justice - Domestic Violence Line

    NSW Police - AVO's - Protected Person

    NSW Police - DV Charges - Victim Information

    Victims Services

    Victims Services - Your Court, Your Safety

    Women's Legal Service - Dom​estic Violence Legal Service