Domestic Violence

Apprehended Domestic or Personal Violence Orders

What is an AVO? It stands for Apprehended Violence Order. There are 2 types of these – Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders and Apprehended Personal Violence Orders.

Apprehended Domestic Violence Order

What is the difference? Well, as the names suggest, an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) relates to violence of some type against someone with whom the perpetrator is in a domestic relationship of some type. Domestic relationships are generally people who live together in a domestic-related situation, so flatmates are generally not considered to be in a domestic relationship, whereas husband and wife, de facto spouses, same sex spouses de facto or otherwise, mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter, are. There also may be a variety of other types of domestic relationships if people live together – e.g. brothers, sisters, brother and sister, step-parents and step-children, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on, if those people happen to live together.

Apprehended Personal Violence Order

An APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order) relates to people who are not in a domestic relationship of any type. These may be neighbours, people who share a workplace, former friends (who have not previously been in a domestic relationship of any type), and so on. The need for the Domestic variety of Apprehended Violence Orders are far more common than the Personal variety.

Increase in Domestic Violence Related Offences in Recent Years

Indeed, for Local Courts, domestic violence and the need for Apprehended Violence Orders, and dealing with contraventions of such orders, form an ever increasing portion of their workload. These types of matters are also seen in the higher Courts, but the majority are finalised in the Local Court.

Domestic violence is seen as a significant social issue, and is taken very seriously by Courts. Various initiatives in recent years have led to a substantial increase in convictions for domestic violence related offences.

DVEC Video Statements

One such initiative is what is referred to as the “DVEC” recording. DVEC stands for Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief. Police routinely ask victims to participate in this video-recorded statement. There is no obligation to do so, but most victims do. No longer can a victim of domestic violence come to Court and change his or her evidence with impunity. The DVEC recorded statement is played in Court, and serves as the victim’s evidence on which he or she can then be cross-examined (questioned by the opposing party). The benefit of the DVEC statement, from the Prosecution point of view, is that it was made very soon after the event which the victim (or someone else) called the Police for. It is most often recorded at the location where the alleged offence was said to have been perpetrated on the victim. It is a compelling piece of evidence, and is responsible for a greater number of pleas of guilty, and a significantly greater number of convictions following the trial of an accused perpetrator.

When Can Apprehended Violence Orders be Made?

Whenever an accused person is convicted of an offence of domestic (or personal) violence, an Apprehended Violence Order is made by the Court to protect the victim for a further period (most often one or two years in duration). An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (or Apprehended Personal Violence Order) can also be made without any offence being proven, or indeed without any charge being laid.

Contraventions of Apprehended Violence Orders

Contraventions of Apprehended Violence Orders are seen by Courts as even more serious than the offence which led to an AVO being made in the first place. If the contravention of an AVO involves any violence, then a jail term (although certainly not inevitable in many cases) will be considered by the Magistrate.

Have You Been Charged with a Domestic Violence Offence?

If you have been charged with an offence of domestic violence (or personal violence), you should contact a criminal lawyer for advice. Similarly, if an Apprehended Violence Order is being sought against you (even in the absence of any associated criminal charge), you should contact a criminal lawyer for advice. And if you are charged with contravening (or breaching) an AVO, you should contact a criminal lawyer for advice.


Call Criminal Lawyers Sydney and Suburbs for Domestic Violence Related Matters on (02) 9533 2269
Brigitte Simeonides & Associates, Solicitors, P.O. Box 2068, PEAKHURST. N.S.W. 2210.

Follow us:


Call Criminal Lawyers Sydney and Suburbs – Brigitte Simeonides & Associates

(c) 2022 – Brigitte Simeonides & Associates – Criminal Lawyers Sydney and Suburbs

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation