A Domestic Violence Order is an Order made by the court to assist in the protection of a person to prevent a continuation of domestic violence between the parties. Both parties need to be, or to have been in a domestic relationship as described in the Domestic Violence Act (NT). Oorders made under Territory laws that provide a quick and flexible method of obtaining legal protection from many forms of violence, for example:
- Physical abuse, e.g. using physical force
- Sexual abuse, e.g. forced sexual activity
- Psychological abuse, e.g. humiliation, intimidation
You can apply for a restraining order against another person if you can show that:
- An adult or young person who is in a ‘domestic relationship’ with the defendant
- An adult acting on behalf and with the consent of another adult or child who is in a ‘domestic relationship’ with the defendant
- A Police officer
- Officer from Family and Children’s Services
What sort of things should I tell the Police or my Lawyer?
It is important to give your lawyer or the Police Officer who is helping you as much useful information as possible. You should tell them;
•If you and the defendant have any children;
•If you have any family law orders in place
•If the defendant has been violent to you or anyone else in the past;
•If the defendant has a criminal record;
•Whether you live with the defendant and whether you will stay if an order is made;
•If the defendant has any firearms.
The Court can make different types of orders depending on your situation.
Some examples of the types of orders you can ask for are:
•that the defendant must not contact or approach you at all (this includes through text messages, family members or letters);
•that the defendant must not act in a way that would amount to domestic violence, but can still have contact with you;
•that the defendant must not contact you or approach you when he has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs;
•that the defendant will attend counselling or rehabilitation (this order will only be made with the defendant’s consent)
If your matter is urgent, for example there is an immediate risk that the defendant will hit or hurt you, you should call the police immediately. The Police can make an order without having to apply to the Court in some circumstances.
In some cases, it will not be urgent to get a domestic violence order but it will still be important. You or your lawyer or the Police can apply to the Magistrate’s Court for a domestic violence order.
Your application must be in writing. Approved forms should be used and are available at the court.
Breaching an order
The order is a civil order but breach of an order may be a criminal offence. Contact the police if there is breach of this order.