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Can The Protected Person Contact The Respondent?

In Australia, an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a legal order designed to protect individuals from violence, harassment, or intimidation. AVO proceedings are not under criminal law but is a quasi criminal matter. It is issued by the court to prevent the respondent (the person against whom the order is made) from approaching or contacting the protected person (the person seeking protection).


The AVO is crucial in safeguarding the wellbeing and safety of individuals who have been victims of domestic violence or other forms of abuse. However, questions may arise about whether the protected person is allowed to contact the respondent, and what actions can be taken if the protected person breaches the AVO by initiating contact.


If you have been charged with breaching the orders of an avo, you should speak to a criminal lawyer in Sydney. A contravention of an avo, is a criminal offence and could result in you receiving a criminal record. In addition, the court can impose a sentence of imprisonment if the breach included physical violence to the PINOP.

Understanding the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order that aims to protect people from harassment, violence, intimidation, or any other form of abuse. In Australia, this restraining orders are issued under different names depending on the state or territory, such as Domestic Violence Order (DVO), Intervention Order, or Personal Protection Order. The order is generally initiated by a protected person, who may be a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or other forms of harassment.


An AVO restricts the actions of the respondent, who is usually a person the protected person has identified as the perpetrator of the violence or harassment. The restrictions may include:


  • Prohibition from approaching or entering specific premises where the protected person lives or works.
  • Prohibition from contacting the protected person directly or indirectly, including through third parties or social media.
  • Restrictions on owning firearms or weapons.

One common misconception about AVOs is whether the protected person is allowed to contact the respondent. Generally, an AVO prohibits any form of contact or communication initiated by the respondent towards the protected person. However, whether the protected person can contact the respondent depends on the specific terms outlined in the AVO.


In some cases, the AVO may contain a “no contact” provision, which applies to both parties, preventing any form of communication or contact. However, there are situations where the court may tailor the AVO to allow communication between the parties for legitimate reasons, such as discussing child custody arrangements or other essential matters. This is especially true in situations where the parties share children or financial ties.


It is crucial to thoroughly read the AVO to understand its conditions fully. If there is any ambiguity or confusion regarding the terms, it is advisable to seek legal advice immediately to avoid any potential breaches.

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Protected Person Breaching AVO

If you find yourself in a situation where the protected person is breaching the AVO by initiating contact with, it is essential to handle the matter cautiously. Here are some steps to consider:


Document All Communication


Maintain a detailed record of all communication attempts made by the protected person, including date, time, and content. Save text messages, emails, or voicemails as evidence if needed in the future.


Do Not Respond


It is crucial not to respond to any communication attempts from the protected person. Responding may lead to unintended consequences and could be perceived as a violation on your part as well.


Seek Legal Advice


Consult with our avo specialist lawyers who can guide you through the process and provide legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They can help assess the AVO’s conditions and determine if the protected person’s actions constitute a breach.


Go Back to Court


In more severe cases of repeated contact or communication by the PINOP, it may be necessary to go back to court and seek legal remedies to enforce the AVO more effectively. The court may modify the order or take additional actions to protect your safety.


Prioritise Your Safety


Regardless of the situation, prioritise your safety above all else. If you feel threatened or unsafe, contact the police immediately.


Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) are critical tools in safeguarding the safety and wellbeing of individuals who have been victims of violence or harassment in Australia. While the primary purpose of an AVO is to protect the vulnerable party, it is crucial to understand the specific conditions in the order. In some cases, the protected person may be allowed to contact the respondent for essential matters, but this is contingent on the terms specified in the AVO.


If you find yourself in a situation where the protected person is breaching the AVO by initiating contact, it is crucial to handle the matter with care. Document all communication attempts, seek legal advice, and report any breaches to the police. Prioritise your safety throughout the process and take appropriate legal measures to protect yourself from further harm.


Always remember that your safety is of the utmost importance, and seeking professional assistance can help you navigate through challenging situations effectively.

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