Police and legal response
Release date: Mon 14 August 2017
Last updated: Mon 27 November 2017
What if the FVSN or FVIO conditions are disobeyed?
The respondent is the person who must obey the notice or order.
If the respondent fully obeys the order, and has not committed any crimes, they will not have a criminal record.
The respondent must not commit any form of family violence. This includes:
If there is an exclusion condition, it may direct the respondent to:
There may also be conditions limiting communication by telephone, text message, email or social media.
If the respondent disobeys any of the conditions on the order, and the police find out, the police may:
This could mean a criminal record and penalties result, for example fines or jail.
Disobeying any condition is called a breach or a contravention of the order or notice.
Only a court can change the order.
The protected person cannot give the respondent permission to disobey a notice or order.
Victoria Police, not the protected person, decide if charges are to occur.
If you don't understand the order, or any part of it, ask the police or a legal service.
Why must you attend court?
Your Family Violence Safety Notice (FVSN) or Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) will have the date of court.
You should be there. It is wise to plan to be at court all day.
Before court, it is a good idea to call support services to fully discuss your situation and needs.
When you arrive, tell the court worker at the counter you are there and if you want the help of a lawyer and other services.
Ask if the court has a Family Violence Court Liaison Officer, who is a police officer who coordinates with all parties, when Victoria Police has applied for the Family Violence Intervention Order.
On the court day, it is the respondent's responsibility to stay away from the protected people.
There are often areas for respondents and protected people to sit.
At court there are free legal services and support services who can explain your rights, options and the court process
The Magistrate will:
The Magistrate's decision will replace the Family Violence Safety Notice (FVSN) or change any existing Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO).
After your hearing, wait in the court, for a copy of any new order.
If a Family Violence Intervention Order is issued in Victoria, it will apply and will be enforced anywhere in Australia.
Similarly, if a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is issued in another state or territory after the 25 November 2017, it will apply and be enforced in Victoria.
Interstate orders issued prior to the 25 November 2017 are enforceable in Victoria if they have been declared as a recognised order.
For more information visit the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme webpage.
Do you have more questions?
If you have any questions about your order, ask:
Police will refer you to support services. Services may text or call you, or you can call services yourself.
The Magistrates Court can assist you:
In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
For more information see