People at risk from family violence can get a Police Safety Order from the police or a Protection Order from the court.
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Family violence isn’t limited to just physical abuse. It can also include:
Domestic relationships include:
To protect people from violence, harassment or intimidation, the police can issue a Police Safety Order. The police can do this without asking the person at risk. Police Safety Orders usually last 1 or 2 days.
A Protection Order protects the person who applied (called the applicant) and any children who regularly live with them from the violent person (called the respondent).
The Protection Order can also protect other people, like a new partner or a flatmate but the person who applies for the Order must ask for these people to be protected in the Order.
If the violent person might encourage other people to be violent towards anyone named in the Protection Order, these other people can become associated respondents and the Protection Order will cover them as well.
The police can enforce a Protection Order and make sure the violent person doesn’t break the conditions
If you apply for urgent help, you’re usually given a temporary Protection Order which lasts for 3 months.
If the violent person wants to defend the Order during those 3 months, the court will set a hearing date to listen to both sides. At the hearing, the judge could cancel the temporary Protection Order or make it final.
If the violent person does nothing during those 3 months, then the Order becomes a final Protection Order. A final Protection Order is permanent, unless the person who applied, or the violent person, asks the court to discharge (end) it and the court agrees. The court has to be satisfied that the violent person is no longer a risk to the person who applied for the Order.
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