What Girlz Need 2 No Bout AVO

What the hell is it???

AVO stands for Apprehended Violence Order and they are a set of conditions made by the court to protect people from violence or being harassed.

There are two types of AVOS:

ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) for anyone you may have had a relationship (eg. Bf/ gf or ex) or someone you live with. So brother, sister, carer, husband/wife….

APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order) is
basically for all other ppl like friends, class mates, neighbours, co– workers

The person with the AVO against them must ALWAYS:

  • Not assault, harass, threaten or interfere with the person who is  protected or anyone in their family or a current bf
  • Not do anything that makes the protected person or their family afraid of them
  • Not stalk the protected person

Sometimes AVO’s will have other conditions for the person who it is against, such as they can not:

  • Stay at a place where the protected person lives
  • Enter the protected person’s school or work place
  • Go within a certain distance of these places
  • Walk up to, email, blog,  sms, call or write to the protected person
  • Go near the protected person within 12 hours of drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Destroy or damage that protected person’s property

Who can get an AVO????

If you are 16 or over and are afraid of violence,harassment or stalking by someone else, you can apply for an AVO at your Local Court.

If you are under 18  and are experiencing domestic violence the police can apply for an AVO on your behalf.

A police officer will apply for an AVO for someone if they think there has been:

  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking that makes people afraid of physical harm or mental harm
  • Child abuse/ sexual assault

So how do I get one???

If you experience domestic violence or stalking and are under 16 the only place (and best + safest place) to go is to a police station. The police will apply to the court for an AVO on your behalf. In some situations (especially domestic violence, stalking) the police can arrange a temporary AVO until the case is heard in court.

Sometimes the police will also lay criminal charges against the person who the AVO is against (the “respondent”). If the person is found guilty of stalking or any kind of Domestic violence offence, the court will automatically make an AVO to protect the victim.

If there are no charges involved, the court will ask the respondent if they agree  to an
AVO being made. If the respondent doesn’t agree, the court will set another date to
hear both people’s sides. After hearing all the evidence, the court will make an AVO if
satisfied that you are afraid of violence, harassment or stalking and there are reasonable grounds for an AVO.

If you are under 16, and AVO made be made even if you n o longer fear the respondent. It is imPORT 122,106,121,103,130,93 court if you want the AVO to be made. Some courts have a safe room where you can wait until you have to appear.

Do NOT ever feel bad or guilty if you apply for an AVO. An AVO does not give someone a criminal record. Someone only commits a crime and gets a criminal record if they break a condition of the AVO. If they break a condition its their choice to give themselves a criminal

What happens if someone doesn’t follow the conditions of an AVO??

That person will be guilty of a criminal offence and may end up with a criminal record. They can serve up to two years in jail or have to pay $5,500 or sometimes both.

Even if you had an AVO against someone and told them it was OK to come round, if this is against the AVO that person can still be charged. You too can get into trouble.

Who can I talk to (for free!!) if I have questions?

  • Legal Aid Hotline for Under 18’s 1800 101 810
  • Liverpool Women’s Health Centre 9601 3555
  • Women’s Legal Services NSW 9749 5333

This information has been adopted from Shopfront Youth Legal Centre for more detailed information see their website.