Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers

74 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton QLD 4700   •   (07) 4931 1888   •   SERVICE PORTAL

Domestic Violence Order

Swanwick Murray Roche – Rockhampton & CQ Family Lawyers and Solicitors

If you are in danger, call 000 immediately

Domestic Violence - what is it?

A QLD domestic violence order deals with domestic violence behaviour which includes when another person you’re in a relationship with:

  • is physically or sexually abusive to you
  • is economically abusive to you
  • is threatening to you
  • is emotionally or psychologically abusive to you
  • is coercive, or
  • controls or dominates you and causes you to fear for your safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.

Examples of this type of behaviour include:

  • injuring you or threatening to injure you (punching, strangling you, grabbing your throat, pushing, slapping, pulling your hair or twisting your arms)
  • putting you down
  • making racial taunts
  • holding you against your will
  • forcing you to engage in sexual activities without your consent
  • getting someone else to injure, intimidate, harass or threaten you, or damage your property
  • threatening to commit suicide or self-harm to scare you
  • threatening you with the death or harm of another person
  • repeatedly calling, SMS texting or emailing you, or contacting you on your social networking site without your consent
  • damaging (or threatening to damage) your property (eg punching holes in the walls or breaking plates)
  • stalking or following you or remaining outside your house or place of work
  • monitoring you (unauthorised surveillance) including reading your text messages, your email account, your internet browser history or your social networking site
  • threatening to withdraw their care of you if you don’t do something
  • coercing you into giving them your social security payments
  • forcing you to sign a power of attorney to them against your will so they manage your finances
  • threatening to disclose your sexual orientation to your friends or family without your consent
  • preventing you from making or keeping connections with your family, friends or culture, including cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practices.

You don’t have to have been physically injured to have experienced domestic violence.

Domestic Violence - What can you do?

For those suffering from domestic violence, some of their options include:

  • making an application to the court for domestic violence protection order
  • calling the police to investigate a domestic violence incident
  • seek counselling and other support (see the links we have provided below)
Domestic Violence - How can the police help?

The police must investigate if they suspect there is domestic violence in a relationship. If they reasonably believe domestic violence has been committed they can:

  • charge the respondent with a criminal offence (eg stalking, assault, grievous bodily harm)
  • issue a police protection notice—issued on the spot and protects you straight away from any further domestic violence acts (it has the same effect as a court order until the matter is heard in court)
  • apply to a court for a domestic violence protection order for you
  • apply to a court to change an existing domestic violence protection order
  • take the respondent into custody—if the respondent is likely to injure someone or damage property
  • apply directly to a magistrate for an urgent temporary order.
Domestic Violence Orders - Application for a Protection Order

A Domestic Violence Order, once granted, serves to restrict the behaviour of the abuser. It can be enforced by the Police. The person who files a Domestic Violence Order application is known as the “aggrieved”, and the person whom the order is filed against is named as the “respondent”.

To issue a Domestic Violence Order, the court must be satisfied that:

  • The aggrieved and the respondent have a “relevant relationship” (as defined by legislation)
  • The respondent has subjected the aggrieved to domestic violence
  • The Domestic Violence Order is necessary in order to protect the aggrieved from further acts of violence and abuse.

In our experience, dealing with the stress and potential confrontation of a domestic violence protection order application process is not easy for applicants who think they are alone. Our experienced lawyers are here to make the process as stress-free as possible for you and to deal with any legal issues that may come up or “tricky” tactics by the respondent. You are not alone when we are with you. 

When applying for a Domestic Violence Order, the aggrieved will be provided with a court date (this is usually referred to as ‘the mention’ date). The police will then inform the respondent of the Domestic Violence Order application that has been made against them. If both the aggrieved and the respondent appear at the court mention date and agree to the conditions set out in the application, the court grant the Domestic Violence Order.

If the respondent does not agree to the Domestic Violence Order or fails to attend the mention, the court may grant a temporary Domestic Violence protection order. In some cases, a Domestic Violence Order may be granted in the respondent’s absence. If beyond the temporary order the aggrieved still disputes the application, then the court will set a final hearing date. At the final hearing (about 3-12 months after the temporary order date) the aggrieved and the respondent are permitted to present evidence in support of their case.

Domestic Violence - What to do if someone makes a Domestic Violence Order application against you

Sometimes, an applicant may make an application for a domestic violence order with no real grounds or for an unjust reason. Defending such applications can be tricky but if you have legitimate grounds for a defence then you should consult a lawyer to present your case in a logical way in accordance with court expectations.

If someone makes an application against you, your options are basically as follows:

  • Agree to the order
  • Request that the proceedings are delayed so you can seek legal advice
  • Oppose the order.
  • Do nothing. However, if you fail to attend court or respond to the Domestic Violence Order, it may be made in your absence.

Each domestic violence order has its own special terms. However, each order will generally include the following terms:

  • The respondent must not commit domestic violence towards the aggrieved
  • Any children mentioned in the order must not be subjected or exposed to domestic violence
  • Your weapons and security licenses (and other licenses) may be automatically suspended or have conditions imposed
  • The order will generally last for about 5 years

In any case, you should get legal advice before deciding whether you agree or disagree with the domestic violence protection order application, or before asking for a hearing date.

A temporary order can be made whenever an application is mentioned in court and will last until the next mention date or when an application is heard.

If you breach a temporary or final domestic violence protection order then possible consequences include:

  • further directions from the Court
  • prison terms
  • fines

Check out some of our recent legal updates and property resources that you might find useful on this Family Law Resources link. Please remember that these updates and resources are general guidance only.

The information on this page and the resources links is intended as guidance only. You should seek specific legal advice to ensure that you are properly protected and acting the appropriate way. 

During family law legal matters, many issues come up that require the support of experienced social support works and other professionals. Here are some links to support resources that may help you (please ensure that you make yourself familiar with any confidentiality rules or seek advice from us).

Support in domestic violence situations

  • Queensland Police Service responds to emergency situations (eg if there is violence or you or your children have been threatened). Call 000 if you’re in immediate danger.
  • Domestic and Family Violence Court Assistance Service gives information about domestic violence and helps with applications in some courts in Queensland. Court assistance workers can also help with legal aid applications and referrals to other services.
  • DV Connect gives counselling, information, referral and help including refuge and shelter placement and crisis intervention to people affected by domestic violence. They also manage the Pets in crisis project arranging foster care for pets while people affected by domestic violence are in temporary accommodation.
  • Mensline (DV Connect) is a free, confidential telephone counselling, referral and support service for men.
  • Immigrant Women’s Support Service offers free confidential, practical and emotional support to immigrant and refugee women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their children who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.
  • Family Relationship Advice Line is a free national telephone service giving help to families affected by relationship or separation issues, including parents, grandparents, children, young people, step-parents and friends.
  • Men and Family Relationship Counselling Service provides services including domestic violence prevention counselling.

Relationship support:

Why are we different?

Our experienced lawyers know that you need:

  • someone who understands the emotions and attitudes of the people involved in your situation;
  • your concerns; especially around financial security, child custody, personal safety and so on;
  • someone who will provide upfront information about pricing and legal costs (and keep you updated as the matter progresses);
  • a lawyer who will provide practical, results-focused advice.

Our family lawyers know that family law clients are usually experiencing one of the most emotional times of their life – a fear of the unknown, concern over financial security, worry for future care of children, anxiety around personal safety and so on. Added to this, most people don’t know what their legal options are – especially when well-meaning friends or family offer advice that may or may not be correct. Our family lawyers see your whole matter and not just the court documents that need to be drafted.

Our lawyers cut through these issues and provide you with legal advice and a strategy based on decades of legal experience to give you the confidence to move forward with your life.

At your first appointment:

  • you meet with an experienced lawyer;
  • you are advised in frank terms about legal costs and estimates to the end of your matter;
  • our lawyer listens to you and understands your matter;
  • our lawyer gives you some basic advice about how we start and handle your matter going forward.

Our family lawyers

Our team members are experienced and regularly participate in specialist seminars, reading industry updates, court decisions & legislative amendments. Our team stays in contact with industry professionals (such as forensic accountants, investigators, valuers, real estate agents and so on) to ensure we have good working relationships with the right people when you need it.


To talk about your matter – reach out to us via any means to start a conversation. All of our contact information is listed here on our Contact Page.

Our Team

Meet the solicitors who can help you with these issues.

Terry Tummon


Property Settlement & Litigation

Katina Kyreakou

Special Counsel

Family & Divorce Law

Nicola Goodwin


Family & Divorce Law