Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO)

The Magistrates’ Court can issue two types of intervention orders: personal safety orders and family violence orders.

What Is Family Violence?

The term “family violence” refers to actions that are used to control, threaten, dominate or force a member of the family. Examples include the following:|

  • The act of hitting or pushing another individual 
  • Sexual abuse, such as forcing a person to behave sexually in an unsatisfactory manner
  • A person may be subjected to emotional or psychological abuse by being restricted as to who he or she may see or where he or she may go or even by being called names
  • financial abuse, such as controlling how a person uses money.

A child who hears, sees, or is around family violence is also protected by the law. This includes a child who:

  • helps an abused family member 
  • sees damaged property in the family home
  • is at a family violence incident when the police arrive.

It is the duty of the police to respond to all reports of family violence, regardless of whether the victim wishes to do so. Law enforcement must put the safety of the victim and their children first, even if they do not want to take action. 

Examples of family violence

Behaviour Examples: Physical violence

  • Using physical violence, including punching, kicking, pushing, pulling, and choking

Sexual violence

  • Pressuring someone into sexual acts; rape
  • Insisting that they watch pornographic material or take part in it

Property damage

  • Intentionally damaging or breaking someone’s property or belongings, including jointly owned property or belongings

Economic abuse

  • Taking control of someone’s money without their consent
  • The act of forcing another person to pay or give money to another person, or taking your money
  • Stopping someone from working
  • Taking on debt by force or trick
  • Using dowry or family finance issues to control someone

Emotional, social or psychological violence

  • Giving someone the impression that no one cares or is willing to assist them
  • Making someone fear their safety
  • Taunting someone about sexuality or gender identity
  • Abusing someone through telephone, email, or social media or monitoring what they do online
  • Harming or killing pets


  • Harming people (including themselves), property, or pets
  • Taking children away from their parents or having them taken by others, such as immigration authorities or child protective services
  • Disclosure of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity
  • To post or send images held on a phone or device
  • To get someone deported

Coercing, controlling, dominating or terrorising

  • Intimidating, bullying, frightening
  • The ability to control where someone goes, what they wear or eat, when they sleep, and who they are able to see
  • Keeping someone from seeing or speaking with others
  • Holding back mobility aids, disability equipment, or medication
  • Forcing someone to marry without their consent

Who are family members?

In the case of family violence intervention orders, family members include:

  • Married, de facto, or domestic partners who share an intimate personal relationship, whether or not they’re sexual 
  • Children of intimate partners and their parents
  • relatives by birth, marriage or adoption
  • Those you treat like family members, like a carer, guardian, or someone you’re related to in your culture’s family system.

People are also protected from former family members.

What Is A Family Violence Intervention Order?

The purpose of a will is to protect a person, their children, and their property.

There are conditions that stop the respondent from using family violence against the protected person. 

It might be necessary for the respondent to:

  • stop the behaviour
  • not contact or communicate with the protected person, or get someone else to do it for them 
  • not go to or stay near the protected person, or get someone else to do it for them.

The magistrate can also suspend or cancel the respondent’s firearm licence.

Intervention orders are civil matters. Breaking them is criminal.