Family Violence & Restraint Orders

applicant
the person applying for a Family Violence or Restraint Order
respondent
the person the order is made against

Family Violence Orders and Restraint Orders are designed to stop threats, property damage, violence, intimidating behaviour and emotional abuse in the future. They tell the offender to stay away from you and/or to stop behaving in certain ways towards you. They are written to suit your situation.

  • A Family Violence Order is against a person you are in a family or domestic relationship with
  • A Restraint Order is against a person you are not in a family or domestic relationship with
  • A Police Family Violence Order can be issued by an authorised police officer

Are you applying for a Family Violence Order or Restraint Order? 

Are you the respondent in a Family Violence Order or Restraint Order?

Apply for a family violence order or restraint order

You can apply to a Magistrate for a Family Violence Order or Restraint Order if you are a victim of

  • domestic violence
  • family violence or
  • other unwanted behaviours such as
    • threatening behaviour
    • damage to property or
    • trespass.

Other people can also apply, including a police officer or solicitor.

How to apply

Complete either of these forms and take to the nearest Magistrates Court Registry:

What happens next?

The Magistrate will make the order if they are satisfied that the person you want the order against has committed unwanted behaviour, and may do so again.

The Magistrate will consider factors such as the safety and wellbeing of you and your children.

Orders usually last about 12 months.

Police Family Violence Orders

Police Family Violence Orders

  • are issued by an authorised police officer.
  • operate in the same way as Family Violence Orders - they also have conditions and usually last 12 months.
  • can be made without the need to go to court.
  • must be served on the offender and a copy must be sent to the court.
  • are automatically revoked once a Family Violence Order (or interim Family Violence Order) is made.

What family violence/restraint orders are for

You can apply to have a family violence or a restraint order taken out against someone who:

  • is violent towards you
  • threatens you or your property
  • harasses or intimidates you

and you are concerned this will continue and put you or your children at risk.

These orders aim to prevent further family violence or unwanted behaviours. They will often have conditions, which make it illegal for the person to:

  • come near you, or directly or indirectly threaten or harass or stalk or assault you
  • come near or go on or damage your property
  • contact you by mail, email, phone, text messages, Facebook and so on
  • use other people to contact you

If the person does these things, they can be charged by the police with a criminal offence and the court will deal with the person. Breaches are covered in more details below.

How to change, extend or end an order

You might need to change the conditions of your order.

You can apply to a Magistrate to vary, extend or revoke an order.

Other people may also apply such as

  • a police officer
  • a solicitor or
  • the person restrained by the order.

To apply, complete any of these forms and take to the nearest Magistrates Court Registry.

Like with the original order, the Magistrate will consider factors such as the safety of you and your children and if there has been substantial changes in your situation since the original order was made.

If you have an interstate order

If you have an order made in another Australian state or territory or New Zealand, you must register it in Tasmania to have it enforced here.

Register your order by completing either of these forms and take to the nearest Magistrates Court Registry.

You will then be given a notice confirming the registration of your order:

What if the order is breached

If someone doesn’t comply with the conditions imposed by the order, they can be arrested and charged for the breach.

Contact the police if the offender breaches the order.

Serious penalties can apply, such as being fined or imprisoned, depending on the seriousness of the breach and their history of breaching.

If the person protected by the order allows or encourages the breach (for example, they allow the offender to visit them when the order prohibits any contact):

  • the offender can still be arrested and charged for the breach
  • the protected person could be charged with inciting the breach.

What does family violence cover

Family violence is any of the following types of conduct committed by a person, directly or indirectly against that person's spouse or partner:

  • assault (including sexual assault);
  • threats
  • coercion
  • intimidation
  • verbal abuse
  • abduction
  • stalking or
  • an attempt to do any of those things.

It also includes:

  • economic abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • intimidation and
  • breaching any existing orders relating to family violence.

This information is reproduced from the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania Family Violence factsheet.

Support for victims of family violence

Court Support and Liaison Service

The Court Support and Liaison Service (provided by Victim Support Services, Department of Justice) provides free and confidential support to adult and child victims of family violence. It helps male and female victims, of any age or cultural background.

Dedicated Court Support Officers are available across the state to help Safe at Home clients with

  • taking out a Family Violence Order
  • varying or extending an existing Order
  • advising on court processes
  • providing updates on progress of a matter through the courts.

They can also help you with matters as they proceed through the courts, including

  • taking you on court tour to explain court layout and facilities and the roles of people in the court
  • accompanying you to court and providing support throughout the court process
  • debriefing after court and discussing the impact of a magistrate/judge’s decisions.
  • follow-up through referral to other services.

Phone: 1300 663 773 (toll free) or
Hobart: (03) 6165 7525
Launceston: (03) 6777 2937
Burnie: (03) 6477 7133

A dedicated Aboriginal Court Support Officer can provide support to Aboriginal adult and child victims of family violence.

Aboriginal Court Support Officer:
Phone: 1300 663 773 (toll free) or (03) 6165 7530
Email: court.support@justice.tas.gov.au

Legal Aid

The Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania has specialist lawyers who can deal with family violence offences and applications, and provide court support services.

Family Violence Counselling and Support Services

Family Violence Counselling and Support Service (provided by the Department of Heath and Human Services)offers professional and specialised services to assist children, young people and adults affected by family violence.

1800Respect

Tasmanian services are listed on 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

Women's Legal Service Tasmania

Women's Legal Service Tasmania can provide free and confidential legal advice on family and domestic violence matters.

Support for offenders

Defendant Health Liaison Service

The Defendant Health Liaison Service (provided by the Department of Health and Human Services) helps you if you have been:

  • charged with a family violence offence or
  • issued with a Police Family Violence Order or Family Violence Order

It can help you:

  • understand and comply with the order
  • get access to counselling and other services

Family Violence Offender Intervention Program

The Family Violence Offender Intervention Program is a mandated program for offenders who have a high risk of re-offending or increasing their violence. If they are assessed as suitable, a Magistrate may order an offender to attend and complete the program as part of their sentence.

Men's Referral Service

The Men’s Referral Service takes calls from Australian men dealing with family and domestic violence matters.

Other services

Tasmania Police has specialist prosecutors to deal with family violence offences and applications.

Safe Home, Safe Families Action Plan - the Tasmanian Government's response to family violence.

Bail and family violence

Someone charged with a family violence offence will not be granted bail, unless the court or police officer who has made the police family violence order is satisfied that releasing the person on bail won’t adversely affect the safety, wellbeing and interests of the person to be protected or an affected child.

Family violence application forms

*Note: Only for use when applying to the Court for a variation of an Order. Applications to the Police for a variation of a Police Family Violence Order by consent must be made on a form obtained from a Police Station.