If you are hit, threatened or intimidated… reach out

Call the Police !

Table of Contents

You are Not Alone

If your partner, ex partner or a family member is threatening, intimidating or assaulting you – the court can make them leave you in peace, leave the house, or order them to change their behaviour.

There is no need for you to wait until you have been slapped, punched, beaten, or assaulted in any way. If you take their threats seriously, so will we.

Laws have recently been introduced in NSW to give police greater power to provide immediate protection, if you’ll just reach out and ask us for help.

We can protect you and we will: with court orders to restrain the offender; by removing any firearms that could be used against you; and by being there should they trouble you again.

All you have to do is reach out to the police and ask for help.

Although 98% of domestic violence victims are women, physical or verbal abuse can be inflicted on a partner by either a man or a women. Every incidence of domestic violence should be treated as a serious matter. Accordingly the NSW Police Force ensure they will provide equal assistance to anyone who may be on the receiving end of domestic violence, whether they are male or female.


How the Police can Help

Domestic violence takes many forms – physical assault, threats, psychological, emotional and financial control or abuse – and there are many ways the police can help you.

If someone in your life (or an ex-spouse or ex-lover) hurts you physically, we will arrest the offender and change them with an offence.

If the offender intimidates you, threatens you, or harasses you, we can apply to the court for a special order called an Apprehended Violence Order. This will place conditions and restrictions upon their behaviour – or else they will be arrested.

Don’t be afraid that you’ll make things worse by involving the police – we can help you and protect you.


Special Court Orders

The Apprehended Violence Order can give you very effective protection.

It literally tells the person who is hurting or harassing you, how they must behave if they want to stay out of trouble and not be arrested for a criminal offence. For instance, it may state that they must not threaten, intimidate you or hurt you physically in any way – or perhaps that they must stay away from the family home and not approach you in the street or where you work. Police can also apply for an order to protect any children involved.

An Apprehended Violence Order (we’ll call it an AVO from now on) is made by a magistrate at a local court. It is not the same as a criminal conviction. You can ask a Chamber Magistrate to organise it, or the police will apply to the court for you. In most cases, both you and the person who is causing the trouble will be asked to appear before the court to get an order – but please remember that you are not on trial. We’re there to help you.

An interim or temporary AVO can be made if you need urgent protection. Under current legislation, police must apply for an AVO on your behalf unless we are sure you are applying for one yourself, or we believe there is good reason not to. Protecting you is our top priority.

Recent amendments to these laws now enable the Police to obtain a Telephone Interim Order This order is similar to an AVO, except that it is issued by an Authorised Justice of the Peace over the telephone. It places restrictions on the offenders behaviour and can exclude them from the Premises for a short period of time.

These orders can only be changed by the Court. Should you wish to have any of the conditions changed or deleted you must apply to the court to do so.


The Gun Laws also Protect You

Guns are dangerous to have around the home at any time, and especially when they can be used by a bully who is capable of hurting or threatening others.

We know that when offenders have access to the guns they eventually use them to threaten their victims. So it is important for the Police to remove any guns they may have access to.

Police have the authority to remove all guns, even if they do not belong to the troublemaker. If there is a gun available for them to use it could mean real danger to you. So please be sure to tell us if you know of any gun or even suspect that the offender may have access to one, even if they have never threatened you with it .

Any current firearms licence or permit the offender might hold will be suspended. then revoked. No one who has been convicted of a serious crime or issued with an AVO ( here or anywhere in Australia), can renew a gun licence for at least ten years. It is illegal for anyone to have a gun without a licence.

Personal or property protection is no longer an acceptable reason to own a gun and no expectations will be made to this.


When Arrest is the Only Answer

Many people worry that, by calling the police, they risk sending their spouse or lover to prison – and they don’t want that to happen. For them, an Apprehended Violence Order is the way to get protection.

For others, the only way to stop the violence is to have the offender arrested. Sometimes they feel, quite rightly, that their own lives are in danger while ever the person is free.

If you feel that way and you have been physically assaulted in any way, tell us and we can arrest the person responsible.

Physical assault is a criminal offence. Where the offender is arrested, police can give or refuse bail, depending on whether they feel you are at risk. Make sure you tell the police of your fears, so that special conditions can be put on their bail. If the offender breaks those bail conditions, they will be arrested and taken back before the court. When charges are laid you will be asked to say what happened at a court hearing.


If you are Hit or Punched

Physically, the offender might be stronger than you – but when you have the police on your side, together we’re much stronger than they are.
When we arrive at the door, invite us in even if the offender doesn’t. We can get a warrant to come in if necessary – but the sooner we’re in there, at your side, the better.

If they have physically hurt you, the offender will be arrested and charged with assault. We can also protect you by applying for an AVO. If you weren’t hurt but feel frightened or threatened, either you or the police can still apply for an AVO.

Immediate protection is now available 24 hours a day with a Telephone Interim Order. These orders are made by a Justice of the Peace and served by the Police.

If the offender is charged with assault and likely being in a relationship does not give one to become violent again, bail may be refused. If bail is allowed, it will have conditions attached – ordering them for example, not to assault or molest you, not to harass or intimidate you, not to drink alcohol, or not to attempt to contact you at all – until their case comes to court. Check on bail conditions with the police.

When an AVO is made, the magistrate will take into account what has happened, your fears and your situation – and whether you wish to continue living with or seeing this person. The magistrate can make an order for them to leave and stay away from the home for the period of the order.


If you are Threatened

If you are threatened, talk to us. If you are frightened, we can apply to the court for an AVO that will help restrain the offenders behaviour towards you. You will be asked to say why you are frightened and you can be sure that your fears will be taken seriously.


If you are Sexually Assaulted

Being in a relationship does not give one partner the right to force the other into any sexual activity. Your body is yours.

Whether you want to remain in the relationship or not, we can help you.

If you are sexually assaulted, the offender will be arrested and charged and police can apply for an AVO to protect you. Remember, if the conditions of an AVO are broken, the offender can be charged and taken to court – so an AVO is a very powerful solution.


Alcohol is No Excuse

Drunkenness is never an excuse for abusive or violent behaviour. If you are physically attacked we will charge the offender with assault

And we can apply for an AVO


If you are Abused, Intimidated, or Harassed

You have the right to live your life in peace – and with dignity. Verbal abuse and intimidation might make the offender feel good, but are very distressing for you. You are not expected to put up with it.

As long as it continues, domestic violence will get worse. It won’t just go away by itself.

Once the offender sees that you have police on your side, they could be persuaded to change their behaviour. We can apply for an AVO on your behalf

Rest assured, protecting you will be our top priority.

(Interpreters are available, just tell the operator the language you speak)

Or telephone your local police station.

For more information call the Domestic Violence Recorded Information Line.

Language Toll-Free Metro – Sydney
English 008 802 979 211 0162
Mandarin 008 802 980 211 0163
Greek 008 802 981 211 0165
Italian 008 802 982 211 0167
Lebanese 008 802 983 211 0169
Spanish 008 803 039 211 0171
Turkish 008 802 040 211 0173
Vietnamese 008 803 041 211 0174
Serbian 008 803 042 211 0179
Croatian 008 803 045 211 0187

More Information

As well as the police, there are many people ready and willing to help you with financial, legal, housing, interpreting and counselling services. Women’s refuges, women’s resource centres and women’s health centres are available in many city and country areas. To find out where your closest services are located, contact your local police. Other services that can assist you are listed.

Domestic Violence Advocacy Service Women’s Legal Resources Centre Homeless Persons Information Centre
(02) 9637-3741 (02) 9637-4597 (02) 9265-9081
(008) 810 784 (008) 801 501 (02) 9265-9087
Department of Community Services Victims of Crime Line
Telephone Interpreter Service
(02) 9360-7200 (02) 9318-1000 Sydney
(008) 425 288 Child Protection (008) 819 816 8am – 6pm (02) 221-1111
(008) 656 463 Domestic Violence 6pm – 8am (008) 251 977
Other Areas
8am – 6pm (008) 112-477
6pm – 8am (008) 251 977

The chamber magistrate at your local court listed under Local Courts in the NSW

Government section of the white pages in your telephone book.