We focus our expertise in Family Law and by focusing on this area of specialisation, we have proven successful outcomes for our clients.

A domestic violence order protects a person from violence, stalking, harassment or intimidation by another. The PINOP (person in need of protecting) may be in a relationship with the defendant or it may involve unrelated people.

The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) makes provisions for Violence Orders.

A Violence Order is not a criminal matter, it is a civil order that can have criminal consequences if breached.

There are two types of orders:

1.      Apprehended Domestic Violence Order: this is made where the people involved are related, living together in an intimate relationship or have been in this situation in the past.

2.      Apprehended Personal Violence order: This is made where the people are not related and do not have any type of domestic relationship. For example, they may be neighbours or co-workers.

The court will need to be satisfied that there is a level of harm and violence that you are suffering from that would warrant the order to be granted. The court recognises different kinds of domestic violence:

  • Physical: where someone is physically hurting you;
  • Emotional: emotional domestic abuse is harder to identify and can include bullying, intimidation, isolation or being in a constant state of fear;
  • Financial Control: where someone is limiting your financial freedom and enforcing dependence on them.

Court Process

Once a violence order has been applied for it will be served on the defendant. Both parties are then required to attend court on the first date and the defendant is given the opportunity to:

  • Request an adjournment to seek legal advice;
  • Consent to the order without admissions which means you will comply with the order;
  • Dispute the violence order.


There are three conditions that will always be included that prohibit the following behaviour:

  • Assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening and interfering with the PINOP;
  • Intimidating the PINOP;
  • Stalking the PINOP and anyone in domestic relationship with the PINOP including children.

There are other conditions that can be included addressing the following behaviour:

  • Approaching the PINOP;
  • Entering places where the PINOP works;
  • Damaging property;


A breach of a court order may mean a criminal conviction is considered by the court. The types of penalties imposed is determined by the individual seriousness of the incident and circumstances. A court may order the respondent to participate in community service or be on a good behaviour bond.

The police have a duty to investigate any breach of a domestic violence order and you should contact them as soon as a breach is made.

Some things that you can do if a breach has been made is to write down the details of the breach, record and keep any voice messages, take photos if applicable, retain letters or text messages.

Our team at Soden Legal have experienced family lawyers who can advise you in areas of domestic violence.