AVO or DVO? While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference between Domestic Violence Orders and Apprehended Violence Orders. This lies in the relationship of the protected person and the defendant. While both serve the purpose of safeguarding individuals from harm, their applicability differs based on the nature of the relationship between the protected person and the alleged perpetrator. In this blog post, New South Lawyers’ Family Lawyers will delve into the distinctions between AVOs and DVOs. And shed light on their unique characteristics and the scenarios in which they come into play.

What is a Domestic Violence Order (DVO)?

A Domestic Violence Order, or DVO, falls under the jurisdiction of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 No 80. This legal instrument is invoked when there exists a domestic or family relationship between the person seeking protection (the protected person) and the individual against whom the order is sought (the defendant). Such relationships may include spouses, partners, family members, or individuals cohabiting.

The primary goal of a DVO is to prevent the defendant from inflicting harm, abuse, or violence upon the victim again. It serves as a crucial tool in addressing and curbing domestic violence within the context of familial or domestic connections.

DVOs are applicable in situations where there is a history or a risk of domestic violence. Domestic violence can encompass physical abuse, emotional or psychological harm, financial control, or any other form of coercive or controlling behaviour within the defined domestic relationship.

What is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)?

On the other hand, an Apprehended Violence Order, or AVO, is sought when the protected person and the subject of the order do not share a domestic or family relationship. Despite the absence of familial ties, concerns about violence, threats, or other intimidating behaviour necessitate the issuance of an AVO. This means that the potential harm may arise from interactions with neighbours, coworkers, or even strangers.

The fundamental purpose of an AVO is to provide legal protection to individuals who find themselves in situations where violence, threats, or harassment pose a risk, even in the absence of a domestic connection. It addresses a broader scope of relationships, acknowledging that harmful behaviour can extend beyond familial or household settings.

AVOs come into play when the alleged threat or harm is posed by individuals who may not have a family or domestic relationship with the person seeking protection. This could involve cases of stalking, harassment, or threats made by neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, or strangers.

DVO or AVO? A summary of the key differences 

The key differences between a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) and an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) lie in the nature of the relationship, scope of protection, and issuance criteria. A DVO is applicable when there is a domestic or family relationship, involving spouses, partners, family members, or cohabitants. It specifically addresses domestic violence within familial or household settings, focusing on situations where there is an existing or potential risk of domestic violence. In contrast, an AVO does not require a domestic or family relationship and can involve neighbours, coworkers, or strangers. It provides a broader scope of protection, addressing threats, violence, or harassment beyond domestic contexts. AVOs are issued in response to concerns about violence or threats, irrespective of domestic ties, making them applicable to a wider range of situations

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. To that end, people should not rely on this communication as legal advice. Accordingly, they should seek formal legal advice for matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of the New South Lawyers Family Law Team today.