What is an ADVO?
An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, otherwise referred to as an ADVO, is a court order which imposes restrictions on an individual who has displayed abusive behaviour to their domestic relatives. Domestic relationships can include a marriage, intimate relationships, previous relationship, relatives, living in the same house or relationship-based care however for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, an ADVO can apply for your kin or extended family (e.g., grandchildren, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles).
In New South Wales there are three types of ADVOs which can be issued:
- Provisional Orders: short term and urgent without the dispute being settled in court
- Interim Court Orders: a short-term protection order administered by the court during the process of a final ADVO
- Final Orders: administered after the hearing, which can be administered due to failure to appear in court or in cases where both parties agree to the terms of the order.
Advantages of an ADVO
BOSCAR has reported results from various studies which reflected reports from women stating that there were significant mitigations of the numbers of verbal abuse, stalking, threatening phone calls, or other threats of violence, for up to four weeks after the ADVO had been administered. An ADVO does not count on an individual’s criminal record, however, breaching it is considered a criminal offence with up to two years of imprisonment in the state of New South Wales. Even if there is insufficient evidence for an ADVO to be carried out, the submission will still be retained by the police. Further, ADVOs are available online, meaning the victim doesn’t have to wait for a lengthy court process in order to stop their abuser.
Disadvantages of an ADVO
The breach rate of ADVOs in New South Wales is just under 50%, recording a breach of 5% of Provisional Orders, 9% of Interim Orders and 20% of Final ADVOs. There are cases of women who have ordered for an ADVO, and this has failed to stop their attacker, like in the case of Sharon Louise Michelutti, who relied on the protection of ADVOs and yet was stabbed to death by her husband even after multiple ADVOs were taken out on him.
What to do if you get served with an ADVO
You may give an undertaking to the court swearing that you will withhold from committing that action or you can contest the facts of the ADVO or accept the conditions ordered and not the admissions. It is important to remember that an ADVO does not go on your criminal record. Prior to making your decision it is important that you consider facts like if there is sufficient proof for and ADVO to be administered.
If you or someone you know wish to discuss this issue further, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8999 9809.