Article Category - Criminal Law and Traffic Offences By Shanaya Stapleton 06 October 2021

An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is a court order that places restrictions on the person who is violent or abusive towards you.

Earlier this year changes were made to ADVO's to now include the protection of an animal that belongs to, or is in the possession of the protected person.

There have been cases where threats have been made to animals, or animals have been harmed as a way of manipulating the protected person, which were not necessarily considered breaches of the ADVO. These amendments will ensure that any such conduct comes within the protections of the ADVO.

Generally, the types of orders and restrictions in ADVO's would include that the person cannot assault, threaten, stalk, or intimidate the protected person or destroy their property.

ADVO's made after 27 March 2021 will now automatically include the protection of pets from harm, or threats of harm, along with the orders listed above, under condition one. Any ADVO orders that were finalized prior to this date and are still in place can be varied to include the protection of pets if you require this order.

The definition of intimidation has also been altered to include conduct that causes someone to fear an animal belonging to them will be harmed. This means that a threat to your animal could be a breach of your current order to not intimidate you, regardless of specific reference to your pet.

These amendments have been made specifically with situations of domestic abuse in mind so the order protecting pets does directly apply to APVOs. However, a threat to your animal may still be considered intimidation.

If you have any fears for your safety you should contact police who may make an AVO application on your behalf, or you can apply for an AVO through the Local Court.

Kenny Spring can also assist you through the process of applying for an AVO for your protection. Please contact our experienced team on (02) 6331 2911. We're here to help.

Shanaya Stapleton | Solicitor