Domestic & Family Violence

Domestic and family violence is behaviour that is used by one person to control or dominate another person. The court can make a Protection Order (see below) if the following criteria can be met:

1.  Are you in one of the following relationships with the other person?

  • Intimate personal relationships include couples, people who are engaged, married, separated or divorced or people who have a child together.
  • Family relationships include people who are related by blood or marriage e.g. spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a cousin, step-relatives, half-relatives and in-laws.
  • Informal care relationships include relationships where one person is dependent on another person for help in their daily lives for things like shopping ,bathing, dressing and meal preparation. The person may or may not receive a carers payment from the government. However, it does not include carers through organisations such as blue care.

2.  Has the other person behaved or continues to behave in any of the following ways towards you?

  • Physical or sexual abuse eg. unwanted sexual contact, hitting or pushing.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse belittling you, making comments about you that make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Economic abuse eg. limiting your access to money or unreasonably making you account for every cent you spend.
  • Threatening behaviour eg. forcing you to behave in a certain way by threatening to hurt you, a child, a pet or someone else.
  • Coercive behaviour eg. behaviours such as stalking, threats including to self-harm, or other intimidation to make you change your mind about something or act in a certain way.
  • Behaviour that in any way controls or dominates or causes you to fear for your safety or wellbeing.

3.  Is a protection order necessary or desirable?

The court needs to find that the making of a protection order is either necessary or desirable to protect you. You must prove to the court that there is a risk of domestic violence, which you need to be protected from.


A Protection Order is also known as a Domestic Violence Order. It is a civil order made by a court that imposes conditions on a person (“the Respondent”) to protect a person (“the Aggrieved”) from domestic violence.

The court can order:

  1. That the Respondent must be of good behaviour and must not commit domestic violence against the Aggrieved.
  2. That the Respondent must not contact with the Aggrieved or ask anyone else to contact the Aggrieved on their behalf.
  3. That the Respondent must not approach within a certain distance of the Aggrieved at any time.
  4. That the Respondent must not approach with a certain distance of the Aggrieves home or work place.
  5. That the Respondent must not publish any material on the internet about the Aggrieved.
  6. That the Respondent is prohibited from locating the Aggrieved.
  7. Any other order necessary for the Aggrieves protection.

Orders can also be made to remove the Respondent from the home that you share together and for the collection/retrieval of property. The court can name other people on the order, such as relatives or children, who are also affected by the domestic violence. The above orders can be made in relation to these people.

A Protection Order is a final long term order that can last for up to five years. The court can make a Protection Order if the Respondent fails to attend court when required, if the Respondent agrees to the order being made or the matter proceeds to trial and the Magistrates finds that the order is necessary for your protection.


The court has the power to make a Temporary Protection Order or a Protection Order. A Temporary Protection Order is a short term order which is made while your matter is being heard at court.


You can apply for a Protection of if you are:

  • The person affected by domestic or family violence (“the aggrieved”); or
  • An authorised person for the aggrieved e.g. friend or relative of the aggrieved.

To apply for a Protection Order you need to complete an Application for a Protection Order and file the Application at your local Magistrates Court. Right-click & select ‘save link as’ to download any of the below documents.

If you have an existing Protection Order and you need to vary the terms, you need to complete an Application to Vary a Domestic Violence Order and file the Application at your local Magistrates Court.

If you have concerns about your safety when attending court, complete a Safety Form and provide it to the Court Officer when filing your Application, so security measures can be put in place.

If you do not want your address disclosed to the other party, complete a Confidential Address Form and provide if to the Court Officer when filing your Application.


If the other person does not comply with the Protection Order, you should report the incident to the Police. If the Police believe there is enough evidence, the Police will charge the other person with a breach of the Protection Order. The matter then becomes a criminal matter.


We can give you experience and guidance with:

  • Drafting, filing and serving documents
  • Advice
  • Attending court
  • Attending a trial
  • Representation of applicant or respondant.

Call us to discuss your situation today.


Download the booklet below by the Queensland Government which explains the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 and provides information about seeking protection.

Domestic & Family Violence Booklet – Legislation explained –
The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012

Call us today

Call us on (07) 5576 6009 to arrange a time to come in and discuss your family law issue with an approachable, experienced lawyer.