Supports at Court for Respondents
Whether you are an Applicant or a Respondent, Support Workers can help you, free of charge, at most major courts across Victoria. The Registrar will ask you if want to speak to one.
Support Workers can help you throughout your Court hearings. They can also refer you to support services in your community. After you leave court, you may need help with difficulties you’re facing due to family violence.
There are also other agencies available at the Court if you need further help, including the Salvation Army and Court Network. They can help you while you are at Court.
The Registrar will also ask if you would like to speak to a free Duty Lawyer. On the day of your hearing, these lawyers can give free legal advice, negotiate with police or other lawyers for you, and represent you in the courtroom.
If the Police have applied for the intervention order on your behalf, they will appear in Court to ask the Magistrate to make an intervention order. If you disagree with the order the Police want, you can speak to a Duty Lawyer to get free legal advice about what you can do.
Please remember that Duty Lawyers can only give you advice about intervention order proceedings at Court on the day of the hearing.
If you need legal advice about other matters, or before you get to court, you can get help through Victoria Legal Aid, a community legal centres, or a private legal practice. Victoria Legal Aid and community legal centres also offer free legal information online and in educational publications.
If you are the Respondent to an intervention order, and face criminal charges on the same day, a Duty Lawyer can give you legal advice about your intervention order and your criminal charges.
Respondent Support Workers
Respondent Support Workers (RSWs) are available at most major Courts across Victoria and are an integral part of the Intervention Order process. They can assist you while you are in Court and provide advice about Court procedures.
RSWs can help you through the Intervention Order process and beyond. They establish links between you and community support services, providing a range of referrals to programs and support agencies.
The RSW will explain what assistance exists to help you make safe choices and to address violent and controlling behavior,
Note: There is a range of supports available for Koori people. Please ask the Registrar about these when you attend Court for your appointment. See the Koori Family Violence and Victims Support Program section of this site for more details.
Duty Lawyers and Other Assistance
Duty Lawyers are available for you at most Victorian Courts. They can provide legal advice about the Intervention Order Application made against you, and help you understand your choices.
Duty lawyers can only help you on the day of the hearing, and can only offer advice about the Intervention Order. If you cannot afford legal representation, the Court, for the purposes of cross-examination, can make an order for Victoria Legal Aid to appoint a lawyer for you.
For more details about legal representation, please see the Legal Assistance section of this site.
If You Are Removed from Your Home Address
If you have been served with an Intervention Order that excludes you from your home address, follow the link below for assistance with emergency housing options:
Department of Health and Human Services