​Domestic and Family Violence

My client is experiencing domestic violence. What kind of support is available?

If your client fears for their safety they should call the police. The police can take out an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to protect them.

An AVO is a court order that aims to protect people from someone (the defendant) who may be violent toward them, or cause them to fear for their safety.

An AVO works by listing things that the defendant must not do — such as not assault, threaten, harass or intimidate the person. These are called ‘conditions’ of the AVO.

Support Services
  • Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLO’s)
    DVLOs are at most police stations and provide information and support.

  • Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services
    Help women and children with AVOs.
    1800 938 227

  • Domestic Violence Line
    A 24 hour NSW telephone crisis counselling and referral service for women experiencing domestic violence.
    1800 65 64 63

  • 1800 respect
    A 24/7 counselling, information and referral service.
    1800 737 737

  • Mensline
    24/7 help, support, referrals and counselling services for men.
    1300 789 978

My client has been served with an AVO. What should they do?

You should get legal advice about what having an AVO against you will mean and what your options are. You should do this before you go to court, if that is possible.

If you are not able to get legal advice before the court date you can ask the magistrate to adjourn the case to give you time to get legal advice.

My client has a disability and is being abused by a carer. What can they do?

If your client fears for their safety they should contact the police. The police may take out an AVO to protect them.

An AVO is a court order that aims to protect people from someone (the defendant) who may be violent toward them, or cause them to fear for their safety.

They work by listing things that the defendant must not do — such as not assault, threaten, harass or intimidate the person. These are called ‘conditions’ of the AVO.

An AVO can be taken out against a person you have had a ‘domestic relationship’ with — such as a relative, partner, husband or wife, or someone you are not related to or do not have any domestic or intimate relationship — like a carer, neighbour, friend or co‑worker.

If the carer lives with your client, your client should get legal advice about what they can do to exclude the carer from their home.

If the carer is employed to care for your client, your client can complain to the service provider and ask to have the person removed as a carer.

Support Services

Where to get legal advice

  • LawAccess NSW
    • A free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and sometimes advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW.

Site content is current as at November 2018

​For Legal Advice

LawAccess NSW
- A free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and sometimes advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW.

- They can refer people to their closest legal service, including their closest Legal Aid NSW office and Community Legal Centre.
1300 888 529

Women's Legal Service NSW
- A Community legal centre providing women across NSW with a range of free legal services
1800 801 501

For more information

LawAccess NSW information about AVOs

Legal Aid brochure — Are you applying for an AVO?

Legal Aid brochure — Are you experiencing domestic violence?

Legal Aid NSW brochure — Is someone asking the court to make an AVO against you?

Legal Aid NSW brochure — Have you been charged with a domestic violence offence?

Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Unit

Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS) brochure — general [PDF 282kb]

FASS social support for women [PDF 3.03MB]

FASS social support for men [PDF 3.34MB]

Guide for community workers

Download the PDF version of the Community Workers Guide [PDF 871kb]

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