Just a Piece of Paper? Making your AVO work for you

Most people find their AVOs to be highly effective in preventing violence, intimidation and harassment. You have every reason to be hopeful that the defendant to your AVO will take proper notice of your AVO, and that you will have no further trouble.

In the end, however, an AVO is an order of the court not just a piece of paper. What gives an AVO power is the strength of the law but very importantly also, the action taken by various people to support it.

These people include you. You may need to take specific action to keep your AVO useful and strong. We hope that the ideas in this booklet will help you to do this. As well, we think it’s wise to ‘be prepared’ for the possibility that you might continue to have problems with the defendant, despite the AVO, and have some suggestions for planning to be safe.

We encourage you to take some time to read this booklet thoroughly, and to make sure that people close to you also read it and understand how they might need to help out.

But let’s look forward positively. Your AVO is likely to be a major step towards
reclaiming a sense of freedom, safety and the absence of fear. By taking out an AVO you’ve taken a stand. We congratulate you on taking that step.

Please accept our best wishes for your more peaceful future.

Women and Family Law

This is the ninth edition of Women and Family Law. It states the law as at November 2009 that applies to married and de facto couples (including same sex de facto couples) after relationship breakdown.

This booklet provides a starting point for finding out information about the law. It provides some answers to common questions and also sets out where you can go for further help.

You should not use this booklet as a substitute for seeing a solicitor and getting legal advice.

When reading this booklet, please note:

  • l The terms ‘partner’ or ‘ex-partner’ are used to describe a person’s
  • husband or de facto partner, including a same sex de facto partner.
  • l Words and phrases are printed in bold for a number of reasons:
  • l A term that is defined in Chapter 8 (definition section) is
  • printed in bold the first time that it appears in each chapter.
  • l The first time a term is abbreviated in each chapter, it is
  • printed in bold.
  • l Time limits are printed in bold.
  • l Cross references to other sections of the booklet are printed in bold.