Children's Court New South Wales

AVOs: Children and Young People

Do I need a lawyer?

Although an Application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is not a criminal charge it is a serious matter and you should get legal advice. 

Any child or young person under the age of 18 years who has been served with a Provisional Order or an Application for an Apprehended Violence Order as a defendant can get legal advice and representation from the Children's Legal Service (CLS)

How will this impact my family?

There are a range of orders that the court can make if it decides that an AVO is necessary.  This can include orders that will prevent you from living with your family or having contact with them for a while.  Often interim or temporary orders will be put in place until the court is able to decide whether final orders should be made.  You should talk to your lawyer about what impact any orders might have on you.  Your lawyer can ask the court to change the orders if necessary.     

What other help can I get?

The Children’s Court encourages young people and their families to get help early if there is conflict in the home.  It is not uncommon for young people and their parents to disagree, but it is not okay if these disagreements lead to violence or threats.  The court will often adjourn cases to allow a young person to obtain counselling or other support to help them learn how to better deal with conflict. 

Talk to your lawyer about services in your area that might be able to help you.  At some Children’s Courts you can talk to a clinician from Justice Health or a youth worker from the Children’s Court Assistance Scheme and they can refer you to appropriate services. 

A good place to start is the Kids Helpline.  

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLO's)

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers are specialist police officers, trained in domestic and family violence and child protection. DVLOs are located at the major police stations.

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers can provide advice and support to victims and help with the AVO court process. They can also give referrals to support agencies who can provide support with things like accommodation. One of their other roles is to monitor repeat victims and perpetrators.

To contact a local Domestic Violence Liaison Officer, phone your local police station and ask to speak to the ‘DVLO’.

For more information about the AVO court process see About Apprehended violence orders.

Last updated:

08 Sep 2023

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