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What Does the Act Say? Navigating Protection Orders

Our last blog covered the legal options open to domestic violence victims to ensure that they are protected. The most important form of protection is the protection order. It is important to understand the contents of a protection order so that you know the parameters of your protection. They can be broken down as follows:-

The Parties

Section 21 defines the parties as:-

  • The aggrieved (the victim of the abuse); and
  • The respondent (the perpetrator of the abuse).

Named Persons

A named person is someone who is included in the protection order in addition to the aggrieved. Section 24 of the Act defines who can be a named person and includes:- 

  • A child of the aggrieved; and
  • A child who usually lives with the aggrieved (provided that the child spends time with the aggrieved on a regular or on-going basis); and
  • An associate of the aggrieved (provided the associate is reasonably regarded as an associate of the aggrieved). Examples can be found at:

It is important to note that (under section 37(3)) the court may make the order without including the named person/s if it decides (under section 52, 53 and 54) that it is not necessary or desirable under the circumstances to include them.

Terms of the order

The terms of a protection order place conditions on the interaction between the aggrieved, the respondent and any named person/s and can be divided as follows:-

Standard conditions

Standard conditions (under section 56) are terms that will always be included in a protection order. They include that the respondent be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence towards the aggrieved or associated domestic violence against a named person/s (which includes exposing a named child to such conduct).

Other conditions

Other conditions include any term that the court considers necessary and desirable (under section 57) taking into consideration that the safety, protection and well-being of an aggrieved (or named person) is paramount.

A common example of such a condition is one placing restrictions on contact.

Duration of the order

It is important to understand when a protection order starts and ends so that you know when you are protected by the order. The order will specify the date made, the duration and the date the order expires.

The contents of this article are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Please seek appropriate legal advice before proceeding with any course of action.