Protection Orders

If you are concerned about your safety you should consider applying for a protection order. There are two types of orders: a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) or a Personal Protection Order (PPO). A DVO may be granted  for a period of up to two years and a PPO, for a period up to 12 months.

What is a protection order?

A protection order is an order of the court setting conditions that a person must abide by. These conditions can prevent the person from contacting or approaching, causing or threatening to cause personal injury, and prohibits them from being harassing, intimidating or behaving in an offensive manner towards you.

You can also ask for the order to exclude the person from your home or workplace or for property to be returned to you. The terms of the order should relate to the particular need for protection.

If the situation is urgent, an interim (temporary) domestic violence order may be granted by a Magistrate on the same day the application is lodged.

How to apply

You can apply for a protection order by lodging an application at the ACT Magistrates Court, or with the help of the free Legal Aid service at the court, or with your own solicitor. This is separate to any police investigation.  Details of the harassment, abuse or violence must be provided to the Court so a decision can be made on the matter.

For more information and application forms visit the ACT Magistrates Court website.

You can also seek further advice by contacting the Legal Aid Domestic Violence and Protection Order Unit on 02 6207 1874. 

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme

The National Domestic Violence Order Scheme strengthens protections for victims and their families.

You no longer need to apply to register your Family Violence Order (FVO – sometimes known as a DVO) in another state or territory of Australia for it to be enforceable. If you have current FVO that was issued in another state prior to 25 November 2017 it can become nationally recognised by applying to the court. If you have a current FVO that was issued in the ACT prior to 25 November 2017 you may contact the ACT Policing Family Violence Coordination Unit or the ACT Magistrates Court for advice regarding national recognition of the order.

For more information, download the information brochure (PDF, 1.8MB) or visit the Courts ACT website.

Breaches of protection orders

If a person refuses to comply with the terms outlined in an order that has been served on them, they are breaching the order.

This is a criminal offence. If this occurs, report it to police as soon as you can on 131 444.

Call  Triple Zero (000) if it is an emergency or life threatening situation.

Also keep a record of information such as date, time, location and details of conversations, as well as text messages, emails and a phone log history. Keep the order with you, as this will assist police when they respond to an incident.

The following organisations can provide assistance with applying for protection orders:

ACT Policing Online News

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