Personal safety intervention orders

Personal safety intervention orders

A personal safety intervention order is an order made by a magistrate to protect a person from physical or mental harm caused by someone who is not a family member.

The order has rules, called ‘conditions’, about how the respondent (the person the order is made against) can behave towards the applicant or protected person (the person the order protects). The respondent must follow the conditions of the order.

If the protected person and respondent are family members, you need a family violence intervention order instead.

The magistrate may make a personal safety intervention order if the respondent has done any of the following things to the protected person:

  • assault
  • sexual assault
  • harassment
  • property damage or interference with property
  • serious threats
  • stalking.

See When you can get an order.

Applying for an order

The protected person or someone else, like a police officer or parent, can apply for an order.

Police can apply for personal safety intervention orders when they believe that a person needs protection. They can apply even if the protected person does not want an order to be made.

To apply for an order you need to fill out an ‘information for application for a personal safety intervention order’ form. Then you have an interview with the registrar at court.

The process for applying for a personal safety intervention order is the same as applying for a family violence intervention order.

What happens next?

The applicant will sign the application to say it is correct. They will also get a copy of the summons, which has the date of the court hearing.

An interim order can be made to protect the protected person until the court hearing. The magistrate can make an interim order even if the respondent is not there.

Any interim orders can continue until the next court date. It is a crime for the respondent to break an interim order.

Responding to an order

The police will send the respondent copies of the application, summons and any interim orders made.

If you are served with a personal safety intervention order you can:

  • agree to an order being made while disagreeing with what is said about you in the application – this is called ‘consent without admissions’
  • argue against the order – you will need to come back to court for a contested hearing (intervention orders)
  • offer an undertaking, but the applicant must agree to this.

These options are the same as the options for dealing with a family violence intervention order.

If the protected person agrees, you can also try and resolve the dispute by mediation.

Going to court

The court process for personal safety intervention orders is the same as going to court for a family violence intervention order hearing.

If the respondent disagrees with an order they should see a lawyer before the contested hearing. Duty lawyers cannot help respondents at this hearing. See Get help.

Magistrates' decision

The magistrate will consider whether the protected person fears for their safety and whether the respondent is likely to commit this behaviour again. The magistrate will make a decision after considering the evidence and what both parties want to do.

If an intervention order is made

Both the protected person and respondent will get a copy of the order. It will explain what the respondent can and cannot do and how long the order will last for. It is important that everyone understands the conditions on the order.

The respondent must follow the conditions of the order. An intervention order does not give the respondent a criminal record, but being found guilty of breaking the order can lead to a criminal record.

If the respondent is found guilty of breaking the conditions of the order they may have to pay a heavy fine or go to jail.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with personal safety intervention orders.

Personal safety intervention orders work in the same way as family violence intervention orders. See How intervention orders work and Breaking an intervention order for more information.