Affected Family Member (AFM)

The person(s) who is or has been affected by family violence.


The person applying for an Intervention Order.

NOTE: In some instances an Intervention Order may protect the Applicant and the AFM. In other instances the police will be the Applicant.

Applicant Support Worker

The Applicant Support Worker provides advice to the AFM while at Court for Intervention Order matters. They also provide advice about court procedures, and provide referrals to community support agencies.

Extension of an Intervention Order

An application for extension of an Intervention Order must be made before an Intervention Order expires.

Variation of an Intervention Order

If you want to remove from or add to an Intervention Order’s conditions, you can apply to do so. Conditions can only be varied with the Court’s permission.

Revocation of an Intervention Order

If you want to revoke an Intervention Order, you can apply to do so. Intervention Orders can only be revoked with the Court’s permission.

Non-Prohibited Person

If an Intervention Order is made against you, any firearms or weapons licences you hold may be automatically suspended or cancelled. You can, however, apply to the Court to be ‘deemed a non-prohibited person’ and able to hold a firearms or weapons license.

Certificate of Service

The police or Court files a ‘Certificate of Service’ to prove an Intervention Order Application and any orders have been served on a Respondent. The document records when and where the Respondent was served, and who served them.

Certificate of Inability to Serve

The police or Court files a ‘Certificate of Inability to Serve’ to prove via a report why an Intervention Order Application and any orders have not been served on a Respondent.

Contested Hearing

A contested hearing is a hearing where all evidence is presented to the Court so the Court can decide whether or not to make an Intervention Order. If you have witnesses you want to bring to Court to give evidence on your behalf, you bring them to a contested hearing.

Counseling Orders

A counseling order is an order a Magistrate makes that requires male Respondents to attend a Men’s Behaviour Change Program. Only Magistrates in the Family Violence Court Divisions at Heidelberg and Ballarat Magistrates’ Courts, and at the counseling courts at Frankston Magistrates’ Court and the Moorabbin Justice Centre, can make counseling orders.

The aim of a counseling order is to promote women and children’s safety. Men are held accountable for their use of violence towards family members, and the program aims to change their attitudes and behaviours.

Directions Hearing

A directions hearing occurs before a contested hearing as an attempt to settle an Intervention Order application. Lawyers and/or the Magistrate ask the parties which allegations they do not agree upon. If the application remains contested, the Magistrate asks the parties how many witnesses they will be calling and how long a contested hearing will take to complete.

Exclusion Order

An exclusion order bans the respondent from returning to the address where the affected family member lives. This can mean the Respondents are banned from returning to where they live with affected family members.

Family Violence

Family Violence is:

  • behaviour by a person towards a family member of that person if that behaviour:
    • is physically or sexually abusive; or
    • is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
    • is economically abusive; or
    • is threatening; or
    • is coercive; or
    • in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or  another person; or
  • behaviour by a person that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of, behaviour referred to in paragraph (a).

Family Member

A ‘family member’ is:

  • an affected family member’s (AFM’s) spouse, domestic partner or ex-spouse or ex-domestic partner;
  • a person who is or was in an intimate personal relationship with the AFM;
  • a relative or ex-relative of the AFM;
  • a child who lives with or formerly lived with the AFM on a regular basis;
  • the child of any person the AFM is or was in an intimate personal relationship with; and
  • any other person the AFM regards as their family or like a family member.

Family Violence Intervention Order

This is an Intervention Order that has been taken out between family members.

Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSN)

Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSN) are applications for Intervention Orders the police can issue on the spot. These can last for up to five working days with restrictions in place similar to those found in a Family Violence Intervention Order. FVSNs must then go before the Court to decide if the order will be extended.

Federation of Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres attend numerous courts throughout Victoria and have 50 statewide centres. When you attend Court they can provide free legal advice about your matter.

Final Intervention Order

A final intervention order is put in place for a length of time the Court specifies. A final order is made if the Respondent does not object to the order being made or after the presiding Magistrate has heard all the evidence presented to Court.

Further and Better Particulars

A Magistrate can order ‘further and better particulars’ when a party to an Intervention Order requests them. They provide a detailed explanation of the allegations relied upon in an Intervention Order application.

Interim Intervention Order

An interim intervention order is a temporary order that can be made ex parte (before the other party is told about the order). It stays in place while an application for Intervention Order is before the Court and remains in force until the Court makes another order.

Limited Order

A limited order is an order that allows the affected family member and the Respondent to remain living together, while also prohibiting the Respondent from committing family violence against the affected family member. It prohibits, in most cases, the respondent from damaging the affected family member’s property or any jointly owned property.

Men’s Behavioural Change Program (MBCP)

MBCP’s aim to promote women and children’s safety. They do this by holding men accountable for their use of violence towards family members. The program aims to change men’s attitudes and behaviours. They are available across Victoria and men can attend them voluntarily.

Order Refused

After hearing evidence the Court can refuse to make an Intervention Order if it believes there is not enough evidence to support the Application.

Personal Safety Intervention Order

This is an Intervention Order taken out by parties that are not related to each other, or not considered to be family members, e.g. neighbours, former friends. For further information, please visit the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria website.

Police Lawyer

A police lawyer works for Victoria Police and prosecutes Intervention Order matters at Court. They represent the police in Court, but are not police members.

Police Prosecutor

If the police applied for an Intervention Order on behalf of an AFM, the police prosecutor is the police officer who represents the police in Court.

Prohibited Person

A prohibited person is someone who has had an Intervention Order made against them and this has resulted in their gun licence being cancelled. If they want to apply for their gun licence to be returned, the prohibited person must apply to the Court to become a ‘non-prohibited person’.

Protected Person(s)

The person or people that an Intervention Order protects.


The person who has had an application for an Intervention Order taken out against them.

Respondent Support Worker

The Respondent Support Worker provides advice to the Respondent while at Court for Intervention Order matters. They also provide advice about Court procedures, and provide referrals to community support agencies.

Section 71/72 Victoria Legal Aid Orders

If a party to an Intervention Order cannot afford legal representation, the Court can make an order under section 71 or 72 of the Family Violence Protection Act for legal aid to appoint a lawyer for the party.

Victoria Legal Aid will not appoint a lawyer if you are able to pay for a private lawyer. Victoria Legal Aid may require anyone referred to them for legal representation, under a section 71 or 72 order, to fill out their application paperwork.

Struck Out/Withdrawn

The Court can strike out an application if the Applicant does not attend Court on the hearing day or if the Magistrate believes there are no grounds for an Intervention Order to be made.

An application can be withdrawn if the Applicant no longer wants to pursue it, or if all parties agree to an undertaking. An application can be withdrawn with the right of reinstatement.


An undertaking is an agreement drawn up between the parties of an Intervention Order. It is a signed promise that the Respondent will not behave in any way stated in the undertaking. The application for intervention order will be withdrawn, but with the right of reinstatement by the Applicant.

An undertaking is an agreement between the parties only. It is not an order and police cannot enforce it.

Victoria Police Family Violence Liaison Officer

The police family violence liaison officer is a police officer who attends Court to assist the police prosecutor.

Victoria Legal Aid

Victoria Legal Aid attends courts throughout Victoria and has offices across the state. It is able to provide free legal advice about the matters for which you are in Court.


This page was last updated: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 16:32