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If you are experiencing domestic or family violence, you can ask the court for a domestic and family violence protection order to help stop the violence.
A domestic violence order helps to protect you, your children and other people named on the order (other family or friends) from someone who is violent to you.
A domestic violence order will include conditions to stop the respondent from behaving in a way that makes you feel unsafe. It is a court order that puts limits on the behaviour of the person who is being violent towards you.
The court will make an order if it accepts:
Get legal advice if you have an interstate protection order made before 26 November 2017.
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 provides protection from violence for people who are, or have been in:
Family, friends and children can all be protected under a domestic violence protection order. They are referred to as “named persons” on the order. The magistrate may name another person on the order if the court is satisfied it is necessary and desirable to protect that person. An order can include:
You must be in a family or domestic relationship with the respondent and prove:
You should get legal advice before representing yourself in court at your domestic and family violence hearing.
If the respondent disagrees with a domestic violence protection order being made, your matter may go to a hearing. This is where both you and the respondent
and any relevant witnesses will have to tell your story and possibly be cross-examined (asked questions about your story).
If you need to attend a hearing, you will be given a date at your first court visit. Your first court visit is called a “mention”. The court will also give you a date for when
you need to exchange affidavits (sworn statements of evidence) with the respondent. You need to carefully follow the court’s deadlines and directions. If you don’t,
your application could be dismissed or the evidence you provide may not be considered.
Tips for going to court:
You will need a copy of your Application for a protection order (form DV01). This application will have been served on the respondent by the police so they know when to appear in court.
A chronology of incidents is a list of incidents that have happened, including the most recent physical violence and any other kinds of abuse, threats or intimidation that have occurred.
Having a chronology of incidents is useful in preparing questions you may need to ask the respondent and other witnesses. If you want your protection order to include
other people — like your children, friends, family or colleagues — you will need to prepare a chronology for them as well.
For each incident, write down the date, time and place it happened, and describe what happened, who witnessed the incident and what extra evidence you might have to show the court about the incident. This could include:
If you have electronic evidence like voicemail messages, CDs or DVDs or other electronic files that you want to play in court, ring the court before your hearing to make sure the court has suitable equipment to play the evidence. You may have to bring your own equipment with you.
If the respondent has related criminal proceedings and they are not finalised before your hearing, get legal advice about whether you should try to have the domestic and family violence protection order hearing put off until those matters are finalised.
You should get legal advice before attempting to represent yourself in court for the hearing of your domestic and family violence application.
You may be eligible to apply for legal aid for a lawyer to represent you in court. Talk to the lawyer about this when you get legal advice.
For more information, read our How to apply for a domestic violence order guide.
If you would like this factsheet explained in your language, please phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 to speak to an interpreter. Ask them to connect you to Legal Aid Queensland. If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us using the National Relay Service. To make a call, go to the National Relay Service Website and ask for 1800 998 980 (Legal Aid Queensland’s legal information line). These are free services.
Last updated 15 December 2022