Are intervention orders the same as restraining orders?

The Magistrates Court of Victoria would seem to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’.

In fact the Magistrates Court of Victoria helpfully points out that the differences in terminology in what could be classed broadly as ‘Family Violence Orders’ (in Victoria, the main piece of legislation dealing with such orders is the Family Violence Protection Act (Vic) 2008) arise essentially from different legislation in different jurisdictions:

Are Intervention orders and restraining orders the same things?

Yes, each state and territory can have different wording to describe Intervention Orders. It generally depends on the legislation governing the particular state or territory.’

So what is an AVO then?

Simply put, an AVO or ‘apprehended violence order’ is the New South Wales equivalent of what we in Victoria would call an ‘intervention order’ (or what Americans would call a ‘restraining order’). NSW Family and Community Services describes them as follows:

‘An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an Order made by a court against a person who makes you fear for your safety, to protect you from further violence, intimidation or harassment. All Apprehended Violence Orders made by the court prohibit the person who is causing these fears from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking, or intimidating you. Other conditions can be included.’

That is, they are more or less the same as intervention orders. Same kind of order; different name.

So if we are in Melbourne and we need a Melbourne Family Law lawyer, we are dealing with ‘intervention orders’; if we are in Sydney and we need a Sydney Family Law lawyer we are dealing with ‘apprehended violence orders’.


Marc Testart
Principal Family Lawyer
Testart Family Lawyers
Experience. Excellence. Compassion.

Useful links:

– Magistrates Court of Victoria Intervention Order Frequently Asked Questions

– NSW Domestic Violence Web Resource

– Family Violence Protection Act (Vic) 2008

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