A National initiative to tackle Family Violence
Family Violence Intervention Orders (IVOs) are used to protect people from Family Violence.
An IVO is made in favour of the Affected Family Member / Protected Person (“AFM”) and is made against the Respondent. IVOs can contain various conditions, including those to stop the Respondent from perpetrating Family Violence against the AFM.
IVOs are governed by State and Territory legislation. The relevant Victorian legislation is the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic).
Across Australia, IVOs are also known as Family Violence Orders, Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders and Protection Orders.
If a Respondent contravenes an IVO, the police can charge them with a criminal offence pursuant to section 123 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic). Serious penalties can be imposed for breaching IVOs, being a maximum of 2 years imprisonment or a fine up to 240 penalty units or both.
IVOs can only be enforced against Respondents if they are recognised within the State or Territory within which a breach has occurred.
Previously, unless an application was made to the Court, IVOs were only recognised and enforced in the jurisdiction within which they were made. For example, unless an AFM made an application to the New South Wales Magistrates’ Court to have a Victorian IVO recognised, an IVO made in Victoria would not be enforceable or recognised in New South Wales.
Any interim or final IVO or Safety Notice made on or after 25 November 2017 will be automatically recognised and able to be enforced across Australia. This is made possible by the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme, which is brought into operation by the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic).
People with IVOs issued prior to 25 November 2017 can apply to a Court to have their Intervention Order recognised nationally.
Anyone that had previously registered an interstate IVO in Victoria prior to 25 November 2017 will need to attend a local court and follow the necessary process in order to have their IVO recognised nationally.
It is important to note that Personal Safety Intervention Orders made pursuant to the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) do not form part of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme. Therefore, they will not be automatically be recognised outside of the State or Territory within which they were made.
The introduction of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme and national recognition of IVOs is an important step in protecting people from Family Violence. From a practical perspective, it would be beneficial if Australian States and Territories adopted uniform terminology for IVOs.