Apprehended violence orders (AVO’S)

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An AVO is an is an order made by police or by an individual to protect a person from another person who has caused them to fear for their safety, wellbeing and protection.


There are two main types of AVO’s in New South Wales:

1. Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)

An ADVO is made between people who are related, living together or are in or were in a carer or intimate relationship such as husband, wife, partner or a new partner’s ex-partner.

2. Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO)

An APVO is issued where there is no domestic or family relationship between the parties such as work colleagues, friends or neighbours.

Who can make an AVO?

An AVO can be applied for by a person over the age of 16 years or a police officer. An AVO is enforceable once it is served on the defendant.

I have been served with an AVO, what do I do next?

If you have been served with an AVO, it is important to immediately contact a lawyer for advice. AVO applications should not be ignored or simply consented to without careful consideration of the problems that will follow.

All police initiated AVO applications contain “mandatory conditions”, which state that the defendant must not do any of the following to the protected person:

a) assault or threaten them
b) stalk, harass or intimidate them, and
c) intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage any property that belongs to or is in the possession of them.

There are also a number of other conditions that may be imposed on the defendant which are dependent on the circumstances of the matter such as:

General process

When the AVO matter is first mentioned before the court, the defendant has two options:

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