An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is a court order designed to protect a person or persons from another person with whom they have or have had a domestic relationship.  The Order operates by prohibiting the person subject to the Order from engaging in certain conduct towards the protected person/s. The prohibited conduct commonly includes assaulting, molesting, harassing, intimidating, stalking, approaching and contacting the protected person/s.

The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (“the Act”) gives a court in New South Wales the power to make an ADVO.

The objects of the Act, in relation to domestic violence, include:

  1. To ensure the safety and protection of all persons, including children, who experience or witness domestic violence; and
  2. To reduce and prevent violence by a person against another person where a domestic relationship exists between those persons.

Under section 16 of the Act, a court may make an ADVO if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person who has or has had a domestic relationship with another person has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears:

  1. the commission by the person of a personal violence offence against the person; or
  2. the engagement of the person in conduct in which the other person:
    • intimidates the person or a person with whom the person has a domestic relationship, or
    • stalks the person,

being conduct that, in the opinion of the court, is sufficient to warrant the making of the order.


In certain cases, it is not necessary for the court to be satisfied that the person for whose protection the order would be made in fact fears that such an offence will be committed, or that such conduct will be engaged in, for example, if the person is a child.

The definitions of ‘domestic relationship’ and ‘personal violence offence’ are contained in the Act at sections 4 and 5 respectively.

Should a person contravene an ADVO, they commit a criminal offence that carries a maximum penalty of a $5,500.00 fine and imprisonment for 2 years.

For advice and representation in Apprehended Domestic Violence Order matters, you should contact the experienced solicitors and lawyers at Burt & Hanke Legal servicing Albury, Wodonga and surrounding areas.

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