Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO)

A civil order that can be applied for by the Police in Magistrates Court to protect a victim of domestic violence. Breach is contempt of court.

These orders are different to the Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs) outlined in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

When someone needs immediate protection from a perpetrator of domestic violence, the Police can serve a Domestic Violence Protection Notice and then apply to Magistrates Court for a full Domestic Violence Protection Order. There must have been violence or the threat of violence. The Police can apply for a DVPO without the consent of the victim of domestic violence. The Police may decide to do 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.

The orders are short-term and last no more than 28 days. Typically, an order will prevent an ex-partner from:

  • Being violent towards you;
  • Threatening violence towards you;
  • Communicating with you;
  • Harassing you by going to certain places (i.e – your house, workplace or school).

If the person who the order is made against does any of the things that are prohibited (not allowed) in the order, then they have breached the order. Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) have ‘Powers of Arrest’ attached. This means that the Police should arrest for ‘contempt of court’, keep the person in custody and bring them before the Magistrates Court within 24 hours of the breach. They may receive a fine or up to 2 months imprisonment. They will not have a criminal conviction because the breach is dealt with in civil court.

Read more about the difference between criminal and civil proceedings.