Family Violence Restraining Orders

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What is a FVRO?

A Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) protects a person from violence, threats of violence or any other behaviour that coerces or controls them or that causes them to be fearful.

A FVRO can be obtained against a person whom you share a family and domestic relationship. For example, a spouse, de facto partner or other relative.

A FVRO does not appear on a criminal record, unless those orders are breached.

What does the Court consider when deciding whether to grant a FVRO?

The court can make a FVRO to protect a person (the applicant) against another family member (the respondent) if:

  • The respondent has committed family violence against the applicant and is likely to commit family violence against that person in the future; or
  • The person who applied for the FVRO has good reasons to fear that the respondent will commit family violence against them.

If the court is satisfied of either of those two things, it must make a FVRO against the respondent unless there are special circumstances that mean making the FVRO is inappropriate. Special circumstances do not exist simply because the applicant, or the respondent, can apply, or have applied, for a particular family order.

What is Family Violence?

The following behaviours may be considered family violence for the purpose of FVRO matters:

  • Assault (including physical, verbal, emotional and sexual assault);
  • Damaging or threatening to damage property;
  • Preventing contact and communication with friends and family;
  • Repeatedly sending or causing the sending of unwanted and/or offensive text messages;
  • Sharing or threatening to share intimate images of another person (including revenge porn);
  • Detaining a person against their will;
  • Financial control;
  • Causing death or injury or threatening to cause death or injury to pets; and
  • Stalking or cyber-stalking.

What to do if you are in immediate danger and require urgent assistance

Contact the Western Australian Police on 131 444 or 000 in an emergency, they may issue a Police Order for your protection.

Police Orders are usually made for a period of either 24, 48 or 72 hours. That may give you sufficient time to apply for a FVRO or MRO.

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