Family violence safety notices

Family violence safety notices

The police can apply for a family violence safety notice if someone needs protection.

The safety notice can protect the affected family members before an intervention order application is heard in court.

A police officer can only apply for a family violence safety notice if they believe a respondent is an adult. The police can not issue a notice against a person under 18.

A safety notice can protect:

  • an affected family member to make sure they are safe from the respondent
  • a child who has heard, seen or was around family violence in any way
  • the property of the affected family member.

Applying for a family violence safety notice

A police officer can apply for a safety notice phone or fax while they are at the family violence incident. A sergeant or higher ranking police officer looks at the application. If they agree the affected family member needs protecting, they can issue a safety notice.

A police officer can apply for a safety notice even if the affected family member does not want them to. The officer will make it clear to the respondent that applying for a safety notice is a police decision.

Getting a family violence safety notice

Once a family violence safety notice is issued, a police officer must serve a copy to the respondent and explain what the notice means. The affected family member also gets a copy and the notice is filed with the Magistrates’ Court.

A family violence safety notice is also considered:

The summons will tell you the time, date and place of the first mention date. This is the first date that you go to court. See Going to court for an intervention order hearing.

The first mention date must be within five working days after the safety notice is served on the respondent.

How a safety notice works

A family violence safety notice starts once it has been served on the respondent by a police officer.

A safety notice has conditions (rules) to stop the respondent from using family violence. They may include the same conditions in an intervention order.

If the respondent disobeys the conditions, the police can arrest them. See Breaking an intervention order.

A safety notice continues until a magistrate decides:

  • to make a family violence intervention order and it is served on the respondent
  • not to make a family violence intervention order.

Leaving the family home

To protect family members, the police can include a condition that the respondent must leave the family home. This means the respondent must not live in, re-enter or visit the home until the first mention date. A magistrate will decide then what happens next.

If the respondent has nowhere to stay, the police will do their best to help find emergency accommodation.

If the respondent refuses to leave or returns to the family home, the police can use reasonable force to remove them. The police can also charge the respondent with a criminal offence for breaking the intervention order.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with family violence.