Domestic Violence: The Law you need to know

The Law about Domestic Violence Protection Order Applications Explained


Domestic Violence in Queensland was previously regulated under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1995 however from 17 September 2012 it has been regulated under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.

That Act empowers the Magistrates Court in Queensland to deals with:

  • Applications for a Domestic Violence Protection Order;
  • Any Applications to vary or end (revoke) a Domestic Violence Protection Order already made under that Act.

For the Act to apply, a domestic relationship must exist between the persons.

Domestic relationships include people who:



  • Either are, or have been in the past, married or in a de facto relationship;
  • Are the biological parents of a child of the relationship (even if it was a one night stand);
  • Either are, or have been in the past, engaged or betrothed;
  • Either are dating, or have in the past dated, but only if their lives became enmeshed while dating;
  • Are related by blood or marriage;
  • Is regarded as a relative, if their culture is such that the concept of a relative is somewhat wider;
  • An informal care relationship (ie. where one person is dependent on another for activities of daily living, such as with a carer relationship.


From 17 September 2012, under the changes to the legislation, the type of relationship covered by the Act is expanded to include:

  • a person with “parental responsibility” for a Child;
  • people in a cyber relationship;
  • More types of “dating relationships” since the requirement for their lives to have become “enmeshed” has been removed.

The person applying for a Protection Order who needs the protection is the “Aggrieved”.

Sometimes the Aggrieved is not the Applicant who makes the Application, as the police may sometimes make an Application on behalf of the Aggrieved.

The person against whom the Protection Order is sought is the “Respondent”.

An Application can also protect a relative or associate of the aggrieved.

That other person’s name can be specifically included as a “named person” to be protected by the same Domestic Violence Order.

A “Named Person” is another person who is also named on the order, who also needs protection, for example a child or a flatmate.

If a “domestic relationship” does not exist, you can still apply for a protection order in Queensland, but the application is made under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982.


  • The content on this page represents the law in Queensland.  Domestic Violence laws vary according to each State and Territory in Australia.
  • In Qld Protection Orders are called Domestic Violence Protection Orders or a “DVO”.
  • Other States refer to a Relationship Violence Protection Order or DVO as:
    • NSW: In New South Wales it is an Aprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO) or (ADVO) or an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO);
    • VIC: In Victoria it is a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO);
    • ACT: In the Austalian Capital Territory it is a Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVO)
    • TAS: In Tasmainia it is Family Violence Order (FVO) or Police Family Violence Order (PFVO);
    • S.A.: In South Australia it is an Intervention Order (IO);
    • W.A.: In Western Australia it is a Violence Restraining Order (VRO);
    • N.T.: In the Northern Territory it is a Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVO)
    • So variously it is referred to as a Domestic Violence Order, Intervention Order, Restraining Order, Protection Order, Apprehended Violence Order, Violence Restraining Order etc.


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