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Making the order work

After the domestic violence order has been made, the magistrate will explain what the order means to the respondent and what will happen if it is breached.

The respondent can only be charged with breaching the order if:

  • they were in court when the order was made, or
  • they have been served with a copy of the order, or
  • a police officer has told them the order exists.

What happens if the respondent breaches the order?

Only the police can deal with the respondent for breaching the order. If you think the order has been breached, you should write down the details immediately as this can help the police and possibly be used in court. Information you could collect includes:

  • SMS text messages
  • posts on social media sites
  • letters
  • photographs
  • telephone messages
  • diary entries you make.

If you tell the police the respondent has breached the domestic violence order they must investigate and may charge the respondent with breaching the order.

If the respondent is found guilty of breaching the order, the court can order them to:

  • do community service
  • be put on a good behaviour bond
  • be fined up to $6600, or
  • be sent to prison for up to two years.

If the respondent has breached the order more than once, or had another conviction within five years of the current offence, the court can fine them up to $13,200 or sentence them to three years jail.

If you think the police have not taken your report about the respondent breaching the domestic violence order seriously or have not acted on your complaints, then you should speak to the officer-in-charge or the police domestic violence liaison officer for that station or region.

Do I have to follow the conditions in the domestic violence order?

Yes. You should try to follow the conditions set out in the domestic violence order or it may be difficult for the police to prove the respondent has breached the order. For example, if the domestic violence order says the respondent cannot telephone you, you should try not to telephone them either. If the domestic violence order stops the respondent from coming within 50 metres of you, you should not come within 50 metres of them.

How long will the order last?

When a magistrate makes a final domestic violence order they decide how long the order will last. The order will usually last five years but may last for a different period if there are special reasons. You may decide to apply to vary the order within that time to end it sooner. Get legal advice if you decide to apply to vary the order.

How long does a police protection notice last?

A police protection notice will last until a court makes a domestic violence order, or until the court adjourns the proceedings without making a domestic violence order or until the application is dismissed by a court.

Can I change the order?

You can apply to. If you want to change the terms or conditions of the order, you must fill out a DV 4 Application to vary a domestic violence order form.

Remember: If you and the respondent decide to live together again, you should get legal advice about having the domestic violence order changed. The respondent may be breaching the order just by being near you. You can have a domestic violence order and still live with the respondent.

After you leave

You should continue to make your personal safety the highest priority after you have left the relationship and the environment in which you were experiencing violence. Make sure you have the support of family, friends, colleagues or a domestic violence worker during this difficult time.

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