Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 As at 6 April 2016 Does not include amendments by



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Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007
As at 6 April 2016
Does not include amendments by:

Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (National Domestic Violence Orders Recognition) Act 2016 No 9 (not commenced)
Reprint history:

Reprint No 1


28 April 2009
Long Title

An Act to protect persons from domestic and personal violence; to repeal Part 15A of the Crimes Act 1900; and to make consequential amendments to other Acts and instruments.


Part 1 – Preliminary
1 Name of Act

This Act is the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007.


2 Commencement

This Act commences on a day or days to be appointed by proclamation.


3 Definitions

(1) In this Act:"applicant officer" --see section 25."apprehended domestic violence order" means an order under Part 4."apprehended personal violence order" means an order under Part 5."apprehended violence order" means:

(a) a final apprehended violence order, or

(b) an interim apprehended violence order.



"apprehended violence order proceedings" means proceedings under this Act in relation to an apprehended violence order or an application for an apprehended violence order."authorised officer" has the same meaning as in the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 and includes the Registrar of the Children's Court."child" means a person under the age of 16 years."court" means:

(a) the Local Court, or

(b) the Children's Court,

(c) (Repealed)

exercising jurisdiction under section 91."defendant" means the person against whom an apprehended violence order is made or is sought to be made."domestic relationship" --see section 5."domestic violence offence" --see section 11."final apprehended violence order" means an apprehended domestic violence order or an apprehended personal violence order."interim apprehended domestic violence order" means an interim apprehended domestic violence order made by a court or Registrar under Part 6 or an authorised officer or senior police officer under Part 7."interim apprehended personal violence order" means an interim apprehended personal violence order made by a court or Registrar under Part 6 or an authorised officer under Part 7."interim apprehended violence order" means an interim court order or a provisional order."interim court order" means an interim apprehended domestic violence order or an interim apprehended personal violence order made by a court or registrar of a court under Part 6."intimidation" --see section 7."issuing officer" --see section 25."personal violence offence" --see section 4."property recovery order" means a property recovery order made under section 37."protected person" means the person for whose protection an apprehended violence order is sought or made."provisional order" means an interim apprehended domestic violence order or an interim apprehended personal violence order made under Part 7."Registrar" means a Registrar of the Local Court or the Registrar of the Children's Court."relative" --see section 6."senior police officer" means a police officer of or above the rank of sergeant."stalking" --see section 8.

(2) If an apprehended violence order is varied, a reference in this Act to the order is a reference to the order as so varied.

(3) A reference in this Act to a person being present in court includes a reference to a person being present in court by way of audio visual link, being facilities (including closed-circuit television) that enable audio and visual communication between persons at different places.

(4) A reference in this Act to a finding of guilt includes a reference to the making of an order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

(5) Notes included in this Act do not form part of this Act.

4 Meaning of "personal violence offence"

In this Act, "personal violence offence" means:


(a) an offence under, or mentioned in, section 19A, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 33A, 35, 35A, 37, 38, 39, 41, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 58, 59, 61, 61B, 61C, 61D, 61E, 61I, 61J, 61JA, 61K, 61L, 61M, 61N, 61O, 65A, 66A, 66B, 66C, 66D, 66EA, 80A, 80D, 86, 87, 93G, 93GA, 195, 196, 198, 199, 200, 562I (as in force before its substitution by the Crimes Amendment (Apprehended Violence) Act 2006) or 562ZG of the Crimes Act 1900, or

(b) an offence under section 13 or 14 of this Act, or

(c) an offence of attempting to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

5 Meaning of "domestic relationship"

For the purposes of this Act, a person has a "domestic relationship" with another person if the person:


(a) is or has been married to the other person, or

(b) is or has been a de facto partner of that other person, or

(c) has or has had an intimate personal relationship with the other person, whether or not the intimate relationship involves or has involved a relationship of a sexual nature, or

(d) is living or has lived in the same household as the other person, or

(e) is living or has lived as a long-term resident in the same residential facility as the other person and at the same time as the other person (not being a facility that is a correctional centre within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 or a detention centre within the meaning of the Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987), or

(f) has or has had a relationship involving his or her dependence on the ongoing paid or unpaid care of the other person, or

(g) is or has been a relative of the other person, or

(h) in the case of an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander, is or has been part of the extended family or kin of the other person according to the Indigenous kinship system of the person's culture.

"De facto partner" is defined in section 21C of the Interpretation Act 1987.
6 Meaning of "relative"

For the purposes of this Act, a person is a "relative" of another person (the "other person"):


(a) if the person is:

(i) a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, step-father, step-mother, father-in-law or mother-in-law, or

(ii) a son, daughter, grandson, grand-daughter, step-son, step-daughter, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, or

(iii) a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother, step-sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, or

(iv) an uncle, aunt, uncle-in-law or aunt-in-law, or

(v) a nephew or niece, or

(vi) a cousin,

of the other person, or

(b) where the person has a de facto partner (the "person's partner")--if the other person is:

(i) a father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, step-father or step-mother, or

(ii) a son, daughter, grandson, grand-daughter, step-son or step-daughter, or

(iii) a brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister, or

(iv) an uncle or aunt, or

(v) a nephew or niece, or

(vi) a cousin,

of the person's partner.



7 Meaning of "intimidation"

(1) For the purposes of this Act, "intimidation" of a person means:

(a) conduct amounting to harassment or molestation of the person, or

(b) an approach made to the person by any means (including by telephone, telephone text messaging, e-mailing and other technologically assisted means) that causes the person to fear for his or her safety, or

(c) any conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of injury to a person or to a person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship, or of violence or damage to any person or property.

(2) For the purpose of determining whether a person's conduct amounts to intimidation, a court may have regard to any pattern of violence (especially violence constituting a domestic violence offence) in the person's behaviour.



8 Meaning of "stalking"

(1) In this Act, "stalking" includes the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of, or an approach to, a person's place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any social or leisure activity.

(2) For the purpose of determining whether a person's conduct amounts to stalking, a court may have regard to any pattern of violence (especially violence constituting a domestic violence offence) in the person's behaviour.

Part 2 – Objects of Act in relation to domestic and personal violence
9 Objects of Act in relation to domestic violence

(1) The objects of this Act in relation to domestic violence are:

(a) to ensure the safety and protection of all persons, including children, who experience or witness domestic violence, and

(b) to reduce and prevent violence by a person against another person where a domestic relationship exists between those persons, and

(c) to enact provisions that are consistent with certain principles underlying the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and

(d) to enact provisions that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

(2) This Act aims to achieve those objects by:

(a) empowering courts to make apprehended domestic violence orders to protect people from domestic violence, intimidation (including harassment) and stalking, and

(b) ensuring that access to courts is as safe, speedy, inexpensive and simple as is consistent with justice.

(3) In enacting this Act, Parliament recognises:

(a) that domestic violence, in all its forms, is unacceptable behaviour, and

(b) that domestic violence is predominantly perpetrated by men against women and children, and

(c) that domestic violence occurs in all sectors of the community, and

(d) that domestic violence extends beyond physical violence and may involve the exploitation of power imbalances and patterns of abuse over many years, and

(e) that domestic violence occurs in traditional and non-traditional settings, and

(f) the particularly vulnerable position of children who are exposed to domestic violence as victims or witnesses, and the impact that such exposure can have on their current and future physical, psychological and emotional well-being, and

(g) that domestic violence is best addressed through a co-ordinated legal and social response of assistance and prevention of violence and, in certain cases, may be the subject of appropriate intervention by the court.

(4) A court that, or person who, exercises any power conferred by or under this Act in relation to domestic violence must be guided in the exercise of that power by the objects referred to in this section.



10 Object of Act in relation to personal violence

(1) The object of this Act in relation to personal violence is to ensure the safety and protection of all persons who experience personal violence outside a domestic relationship.

(2) This Act aims to achieve that object by:

(a) empowering courts to make apprehended personal violence orders in appropriate circumstances to protect people from violence, intimidation (including harassment) and stalking, and

(b) ensuring that access to courts is as safe, speedy, inexpensive and simple as is consistent with justice, and

(c) ensuring that other avenues of dispute resolution are encouraged where appropriate.



Part 3 – Domestic violence and other offences
11 Meaning of "domestic violence offence"

In this Act, "domestic violence offence" means a personal violence offence committed by a person against another person with whom the person who commits the offence has or has had a domestic relationship.


12 Recording of domestic violence offences

(1) The charge in respect of an offence may indicate that the offence is a domestic violence offence.

(2) If a person pleads guilty to an offence or is found guilty of an offence and the court is satisfied that the offence was a domestic violence offence, the court is to direct that the offence be recorded on the person's criminal record as a domestic violence offence.

(3) If the court makes a direction under this section to record an offence as a domestic violence offence, the prosecution may make an application to the court requesting that the court direct that specified offences in respect of which the person has previously pleaded guilty or been found guilty be recorded as domestic violence offences.

(4) Any such application is to include sufficient information in support of the request to enable the court to make a decision as to whether such a recording is appropriate.

(5) The court may require the prosecutor to provide further information to enable it to make a determination as to whether to direct a recording to be made under this section.

(6) If satisfied after considering an application under subsection (3) that an offence referred to in the application was a domestic violence offence, the court is to direct that the offence be recorded on the criminal record of the person concerned as a domestic violence offence.

(7) A victim of an offence is not compellable in any proceedings before the court to determine whether the court should make a direction under this section to record an offence as a domestic violence offence.

(8) A court that directs a recording to be made under this section or is required to take such a recording into account may, on application or on its own motion, correct the recording if it considers that there is an error in the recording.

(9) Regulations may be made for or with respect to the recording of offences under this section, including the manner in which and time within which such recordings are to be made.

An indication in the charge for an offence that a person has committed a domestic violence offence will be relevant in bail proceedings. The recording on a person's criminal record that an offence is a domestic violence offence will be relevant to sections 7 and 8 of this Act, where previous behaviour constituting a domestic violence offence is taken into account for the purpose of determining whether a person's behaviour amounts to intimidation or stalking, and to sections 27 and 49 of this Act, which require police to make applications for apprehended domestic violence orders in situations where the person in question has already committed a domestic violence offence. Section 21A of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 provides that a record of previous convictions is an aggravating factor to be taken into account when determining the appropriate sentence for an offence.
13 Stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm

(1) A person who stalks or intimidates another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years or 50 penalty units, or both.

(2) For the purposes of this section, causing a person to fear physical or mental harm includes causing the person to fear physical or mental harm to another person with whom he or she has a domestic relationship.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a person intends to cause fear of physical or mental harm if he or she knows that the conduct is likely to cause fear in the other person.

(4) For the purposes of this section, the prosecution is not required to prove that the person alleged to have been stalked or intimidated actually feared physical or mental harm.

(5) A person who attempts to commit an offence against subsection (1) is guilty of an offence against that subsection and is punishable as if the offence attempted had been committed.



14 Offence of contravening apprehended violence order

(1) A person who knowingly contravenes a prohibition or restriction specified in an apprehended violence order made against the person is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years or 50 penalty units, or both.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence against subsection (1) unless:

(a) in the case of an apprehended violence order made by a court, the person was served with a copy of the order or was present in court when the order was made, or

(b) in any other case, the person was served with a copy of the apprehended violence order.

(3) A person is not guilty of an offence against subsection (1) if the contravention of the prohibition or restriction concerned:

(a) was necessary in order to attend mediation under section 21, or

(b) was done in compliance with the terms of a property recovery order.

(4) Unless the court otherwise orders, a person who is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if the act constituting the offence was an act of violence against a person.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the person convicted was under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged offence.

(6) Where the court determines not to impose a sentence of imprisonment, it must give its reasons for not doing so.

(7) A person is not guilty of an offence of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence against subsection (1) if the person is a protected person under the order concerned.

(8) A police officer is to make a written record of the reasons for:

(a) a decision by the police officer not to initiate criminal proceedings against a person for an alleged contravention of subsection (1) or (9) (whether or not the person is arrested), or

(b) a decision by the police officer not to proceed with criminal proceedings against a person for an alleged contravention of subsection (1) or (9),

if the police officer or another police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the person has committed an offence against either subsection or if an alleged contravention of either subsection by the person has been reported to the police officer or another police officer.

(9) A person who attempts to commit an offence against subsection (1) is guilty of an offence against that subsection and is punishable as if the offence attempted had been committed.

The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 contains powers of police officers in relation to suspected offences, including a power to arrest a person, without warrant, if the police officer suspects on reasonable grounds that a person has committed an offence.


Part 4 – Apprehended domestic violence orders
15 Application for making of apprehended domestic violence order by court

(1) An application may be made in accordance with Part 10 for an apprehended domestic violence order for the protection of:

(a) a person against another person with whom he or she has or has had a domestic relationship, or

(b) two or more persons against another person with whom at least one of those persons has or has had a domestic relationship.

(2) An application is to be treated as an application for an apprehended personal violence order if none of the persons for whose protection the order would be made has or has had a domestic relationship with the person against whom it is sought.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a provisional order that is made by a senior police officer and treated as an application for an order pursuant to section 29.



16 Court may make apprehended domestic violence order

(1) A court may, on application, make an apprehended domestic violence order if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person who has or has had a domestic relationship with another person has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears:

(a) the commission by the other person of a personal violence offence against the person, or

(b) the engagement of the other person in conduct in which the other person:

(i) intimidates the person or a person with whom the person has a domestic relationship, or

(ii) stalks the person,

being conduct that, in the opinion of the court, is sufficient to warrant the making of the order.

(2) Despite subsection (1), it is not necessary for the court to be satisfied that the person for whose protection the order would be made in fact fears that such an offence will be committed, or that such conduct will be engaged in, if:

(a) the person is a child, or

(b) the person is, in the opinion of the court, suffering from an appreciably below average general intelligence function, or

(c) in the opinion of the court:

(i) the person has been subjected at any time to conduct by the defendant amounting to a personal violence offence, and

(ii) there is a reasonable likelihood that the defendant may commit a personal violence offence against the person, and

(iii) the making of the order is necessary in the circumstances to protect the person from further violence.

(3) For the purposes of this section, conduct may amount to intimidation of a person even though:

(a) it does not involve actual or threatened violence to the person, or

(b) it consists only of actual or threatened damage to property belonging to, in the possession of or used by the person.

Part 8 provides for the matters that may be included in orders. Part 9 contains additional provisions relevant to the making of orders.


17 Matters to be considered by court

(1) In deciding whether or not to make an apprehended domestic violence order, the court must consider the safety and protection of the protected person and any child directly or indirectly affected by the conduct of the defendant alleged in the application for the order.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), in deciding whether or not to make an apprehended domestic violence order, the court is to consider:

(a) in the case of an order that would prohibit or restrict access to the defendant's residence--the effects and consequences on the safety and protection of the protected person and any children living or ordinarily living at the residence if an order prohibiting or restricting access to the residence is not made, and

(b) any hardship that may be caused by making or not making the order, particularly to the protected person and any children, and

(c) the accommodation needs of all relevant parties, in particular the protected person and any children, and

(d) any other relevant matter.

(3) When making an apprehended domestic violence order, the court is to ensure that the order imposes only those prohibitions and restrictions on the defendant that, in the opinion of the court, are necessary for the safety and protection of the protected person, and any child directly or indirectly affected by the conduct of the defendant alleged in the application for the order, and the protected person's property.

(4) If an application is made for an apprehended domestic violence order that prohibits or restricts access by the defendant to any premises or place and the court hearing proceedings in respect of the application decides to make an order without the prohibition or restriction sought, the court is to give reasons for that decision.

Part 5 – Apprehended personal violence orders
18 Application for making of apprehended personal violence order by court

(1) An application may be made in accordance with Part 10 for an apprehended personal violence order for the protection of one or more persons against another person.

(2) An application is to be treated as an application for an apprehended domestic violence order if one or more of the persons for whose protection the order would be made has or has had a domestic relationship with the person against whom it is sought.

19 Court may make apprehended personal violence order

(1) A court may, on application, make an apprehended personal violence order if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears:

(a) the commission by the other person of a personal violence offence against the person, or

(b) the engagement of the other person in conduct in which the other person:

(i) intimidates the person, or

(ii) stalks the person,

being conduct that, in the opinion of the court, is sufficient to warrant the making of the order.

(2) Despite subsection (1), it is not necessary for the court to be satisfied that the person for whose protection the order would be made in fact fears that such an offence will be committed, or that such conduct will be engaged in, if:

(a) the person is a child, or

(b) the person is, in the opinion of the court, suffering from an appreciably below average general intelligence function.

(3) For the purposes of this section, conduct may amount to intimidation of a person even though:

(a) it does not involve actual or threatened violence to the person, or

(b) it consists only of actual or threatened damage to property belonging to, in the possession of or used by the person.

Part 8 provides for the matters that may be included in orders. Part 9 contains additional provisions relevant to the making of orders.


20 Matters to be considered by court

(1) In deciding whether or not to make an apprehended personal violence order, the court must consider the safety and protection of the person seeking the order and any child directly or indirectly affected by the conduct of the defendant alleged in the application for the order.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), in deciding whether or not to make an apprehended personal violence order, the court is to consider:

(a) in the case of an order that would prohibit or restrict access to the defendant's residence--the effects and consequences on the safety and protection of the protected person and any children living or ordinarily living at the residence if an order prohibiting or restricting access to the residence is not made, and

(b) any hardship that may be caused by making or not making the order, particularly to the protected person and any children, and

(c) the accommodation needs of all relevant parties, in particular the protected person and any children, and

(d) any other relevant matter.

(3) When making an apprehended personal violence order, the court is to ensure that the order imposes only those prohibitions and restrictions on the defendant that, in the opinion of the court, are necessary for the safety and protection of the protected person, and any child directly or indirectly affected by the conduct of the defendant alleged in the application for the order, and the protected person's property.

(4) If an application is made for an apprehended personal violence order that prohibits or restricts access by the defendant to any premises or place and the court hearing proceedings in respect of the application decides to make an order without the prohibition or restriction sought, the court is to give reasons for that decision.

21 Referral of matters to mediation

(1) If an application for an apprehended personal violence order is made to a court, the court:

(a) when considering whether to make the order--is to refer the protected person and the defendant for mediation under the Community Justice Centres Act 1983 unless it is satisfied that there is good reason not to do so, and

(b) at any other time--may refer the protected person and the defendant for mediation under that Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), in determining whether there is good reason not to refer a matter to mediation, the court is to consider whether:

(a) there has been a history of physical violence to the protected person by the defendant, or

(b) the protected person has been subjected to conduct by the defendant amounting to a personal violence offence, or

(c) the protected person has been subjected to conduct by the defendant amounting to an offence under section 13, or

(d) the defendant has engaged in conduct amounting to harassment relating to the protected person's race, religion, homosexuality, transgender status, HIV/AIDS infection or disability, or

(e) there has been a previous attempt at mediation in relation to the same matter and the attempt was not successful.

(2A) The existence of any one or more of the factors referred to in subsection (2) does not prevent a court from referring a matter to mediation.

(3) Nothing in this section affects section 24 of the Community Justice Centres Act 1983. Section 24 of the Community Justice Centres Act 1983 enables the Director of Community Justice Centres to decline to consent to the acceptance of a dispute for mediation and enables the Director or a mediator to terminate a mediation session at any time.

(4) The Director of Community Justice Centres is to provide a written report on the outcome of the mediation or attempted mediation to the court that referred the matter for mediation.

(5) On receiving a report under subsection (4), the court is to take such action in accordance with this Act as it considers appropriate in relation to the matter concerned and in doing so may take into account the contents of the report.

(6) If a matter is referred to mediation under this section without an order having been made, any proceedings in relation to the application are taken to have been stayed until a report is provided under subsection (4).

(7) If the Director of Community Justice Centres provides a report under subsection (4) or a mediator conducts a mediation of a matter referred under this section, the Director or the mediator is taken, for the purposes of the provisions of the Community Justice Centres Act 1983, to be exercising those functions for the purpose of executing that Act.



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