There are two types of Intervention Orders (IVO) in Victoria:
- A Family Violence IVO; and
- A Personal Safety IVO.
If you need protection from family violence from a family member, then you should apply for a Family Violence IVO. For protection against someone else, for example a neighbour or a former friend, then you would apply for the Personal Safety IVO.
Am I likely to be successful in applying for an IVO?
A court will consider the following issues when deciding whether or not to grant an IVO:
- Whether the family violence/prohibited behaviour has occurred;
- Whether the behaviour is likely to happen again.
For a Family Violence IVO, Family Violence is broadly defined and includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse. It also includes behaviour that is threatening, coercive, or in any other way controls or dominates or causes you to feel fear for your safety or wellbeing or that of another family member (for example, your child). Abuse or threat of abuse towards a family pet is also considered Family Violence.
For a Personal Safety IVO, prohibited behaviour includes assault, sexual assault, harassment, property damage or interference or making a serious threat. Quite often, Personal Safety IVOs involve a dispute between neighbours, former friends, or former colleagues.
When does the Police get involved in IVOs?
If you report the family violence or prohibited behaviour to the Police, they may consider it necessary to apply for the IVO on your behalf. In some circumstances, they may also charge the other person with one or more crimes, such as assault or threat to kill.
If the Police has applied on your behalf, then they will be running the case. If you make your own application, then you are responsible for running your case.
What are the consequences of an IVO
Each IVO will carry a range a conditions that restricts the behaviour of the person against whom the order is made. For example, the person could be prohibited from approaching your house or work or prohibited from publishing information about you on Facebook. If you are applying for an IVO, we can assist you to apply for conditions that will be useful for your protection.
If you are the Respondent in an Application for an Intervention Order, we can assist you to negotiate the removal of conditions that will unfairly restrict your life. For example, if the IVO makes it difficult for you to go to work or access medical care, we can help you to negotiate the removal or amendment of those conditions. If an IVO is made against you, you will have to surrender your gun licence/ firearms licence.
If you are found guilty of breaching an IVO, a criminal record may be recorded against your name, which may make it difficult for you to travel overseas or obtain certain types of employment. You may also be fined and imprisoned. If you have been charged with breaching an IVO, please contact us for more detailed advice.