Fearful for your safety – do you need a restraining order.
In Western Australia, persons who are fearful for their safety may apply to the Magistrates Court for protection against a person of whom they are fearful by the following means:
- Misconduct Restraining Order; or
- Violence Restraining Order;
- Family Violence Restraining Order (collectively referred to herein as “Restraining Orders”).
Misconduct Restraining Orders (“MRO”) are available to a person (“Protected Person”) who reasonably feels intimidated or who is having their property (or property in their possession) damaged by another person (“Person Bound”) with whom they are not in a family and domestic relationship. A MRO may also be sought in circumstances where the Person Bound is behaving in a certain way towards the Person Protected that may lead to a breach of the peace.
Violence Restraining Orders (“VRO”) are available in circumstances where a Person Bound has committed and act of abuse (either physical, emotional or psychological) against a Protected Person and is likely to commit further acts of abuse in the absence of any restraint. A VRO may also be obtained in circumstances where the Protected Person has a reasonable fear that the Person Bound will commit an act of abuse.
On 1 July 2017, the law that covers VRO’s was changed to widen the scope of the classification of family violence. These orders are now referred to as a Family Violence Restraining Order (“FVRO”).
Under the new law, Family violence now also includes the following (amongst other things):
- Sharing or threatening to share intimate images of another person (revenge porn);
- Detaining a person against their will;
- Financial control;
- Causing death or injury or threatening to cause death or injury to pets;
- Damaging or threatening to damage joint property;
- Repeatedly sending or causing the sending of unwanted and/or offensive text messages;
- Stalking or cyber-stalking; and
- Preventing contact and communication with friends and family.
Seeking legal advice as early as possible in relation to defending or prosecuting any restraining order application is important to ensure your matter achieves the best outcome for you, contact us today.