When parents don’t know what else they can do to stop the adolescent family violence in the home they might call the police.
Police use a Code of Practice when they attend any incidents of family violence. This means that they must do certain things and, in particular, they must make sure the people in the house are safe. To do this they can:
It is important to remember to co-operate with the police and that your parent or carer would not have called them if they did not feel it was their only option.
Sometimes the police may attend your home after an incident and apply for an Intervention Order on behalf of your parent/carer and others living in the home or your parent or carer may go to court and do this themselves. You must take this seriously and remember that they would not be doing this if they did not feel unsafe. If an application for a family violence Intervention Order is made against you, the police will give you:
There are two types of Intervention Orders, an Interim Intervention Order and a Final Intervention Order.
An Interim Intervention Order – a Magistrate can make an Interim Intervention Order for the safety of the affected family member. This order is not final and you will have to return to court. You must follow all of the conditions of the Interim Intervention Order so your behaviour is very important. It can make a difference to what conditions may be included on the Final Intervention Order or even if there will be a Final Intervention Order at all.
A Final Intervention Order - a Magistrate can make a longer-term order made if he or she believes a family member has used family violence and is likely to do so again (Victoria Legal Aid, 2013).
Having an Intervention Order against you does not automatically mean that you cannot see your parents and family. The main aim of an Intervention Order is to improve the safety of the ‘affected family member’, that is, your parent or carer and anyone else in the home whom the Magistrate feels needs protecting.The Magistrate may decide that this can be done by allowing you to continue having contact with your family with special conditions in place.
These conditions may stop you from:
It is important to know that once an Intervention Order has been made, your parent or carer and you can go back to court to have it changed. They may do this to add or take away certain conditions of the order.
Victoria Legal Aid has developed a booklet that gives you step-by-step information about responding to a family violence Intervention Order.
Some important things for you to remember:
If the police have applied for the Intervention Order, even if your parent/carer doesn’t want it, the Magistrate can still make the order.
Breaching an Intervention Order
A breach of an Intervention Order is serious and you will need to appear in the Children’s Court where you may receive a conviction. This means you might have a criminal record. (Victoria Legal Aid, 2013)
Even if the person who has the Intervention Order against you tells you it’s okay to do something that the Intervention Order states that you cannot, you will be in breach of your order. It’s your responsibility to comply with the order. You can always return to court to get the Intervention Order amended.
If you need to go to court please note the following:
Some of the possible outcomes from going to court include:
It is always good to get legal advice before you go to Court and most advice for people under 18 is free.
Victoria Legal Aid
9269 0120 or 1800 677 402 (country callers)
Federation of Community Legal Centres- find your local community legal centre
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
9419 3888 or 1800 064 865 (country callers)