In any week in a NSW Local Court, a large percentage of the matters dealt with concern Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO’s). The purpose of an AVO is to protect people from others who may commit violence against them.
There are two types of AVOs:
1. ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order): This relates to the protection of person/s where the people involved are related and/or have (or have had) a domestic or intimate relationship.22
2. APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order): This relates.to the protection of a person (or persons) where there is no domestic relationship between the parties; for example, against neighbors or co-workers.
A person aged 16 years or older who believes that s/he has been the victim of violence, threatened with physical harm and/or has been stalked, harassed or intimidated, and believes that this behaviour will continue can apply for an AVO. Notice that a Police Officer may also apply for an AVO on behalf of an individual, and in many cases this is done in association with the laying of criminal charges against the alleged perpetrator of the act of violence toward the individual in question. An AVO can also be obtained after a person reports a matter to the police. Police will assess the reported matter, obtain a witness statement if required, and if they then believe that an ADVO is necessary to ensure an individual’s safety and protection, issue one. When an AVO is made, three ‘mandatory’ conditions are attached; these are that the defendant (the person the AVO is against) must not:
- assault or threaten the protected person;
- stalk, harass or intimidate the protected person;
- intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage the protected person’s property.
- The Court can also make additional orders — such as ‘prohibiting or restricting’ the defendant from approaching the protected person (the person for whom the AVO is issued) at work or other premises