Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs)

A civil protective order which was introduced in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and will be piloted in a select number of Police force areas in 2024.

These orders were introduced to improve the protection available to survivors of domestic abuse and be tougher on perpetrators.

Orders can be made in civil courts, including Magistrates and Family Courts.

In addition to requiring the person that the order is made against not to do certain things; the orders could also require the person to comply with certain instructions (Positive Requirements). If they fail to comply with the conditions of the order, they will have breached the order. A breach is a criminal offence. The Dual Mechanism of enforcement will apply. Read more about enforcement of breaches here.

Typically, an order would prevent a person from:

  • Being violent towards you or your children;
  • Threatening violence towards you or your children;
  • Communicating with you or your children (except perhaps through lawyers or a specific method);
  • Harassing you or your children by going to certain places (i.e – your house, workplace or school).

They may also require the alleged perpetrator to:

  • Report to a Police Station regularly.
  • Wear an electronic tag.
  • Comply with a curfew.
  • Undertake a programme to support rehabilitation from alcohol or substance misuse.
  • Undertake a behaviour change programme.

Police will be required to manage these orders and the positive requirements.

The proposed new orders can be applied for by victims themselves, family members (with the courts permission), third-party organisations and the Police.

It may be possible for orders to be made without the consent of the victim of domestic violence. The court may agree to this if they feel action is needed to protect the victim and provide them with a break from the alleged perpetrator so that they can seek support.

Orders could be made for anywhere between 28 days and 18 months.

Domestic Abuse Protection Orders are being piloted in a selection of Police Force areas in 2024. They are not available widely and are different to Domestic Violence Protection Orders.