Domestic Violence Lawyer

Have you been served with an application for a Domestic Violence Order? Do you wish to make an application for a Domestic Violence Order against someone else? Our experienced domestic violence lawyers can help you in either of these situations.

Are you a victim of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a common, yet distressing situation. Many behaviours can be domestic violence, including physical, emotional, or economic abuse. If you have experienced domestic violence in your relationship, you might be able to make an application for a Domestic Violence Order.

Our specialist domestic violence lawyers can help you:

Domestic violence charges can be a difficult time. Having the support of a DV lawyer can reduce your stress and uncertainty. Contact our domestic violence lawyers now for a phone consultation. 

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Temporary Domestic Violence Orders

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A temporary order is an order that has been put in place by a magistrate who has heard an application for a protection order and has deemed that a temporary order is necessary for the circumstances. The temporary Domestic Violence Order will come into effect once the respondent has been served with the order by a member of the Queensland Police Service if they weren’t present in court when the order was made.

A temporary order can be changed which is one of the benefits of them being temporary. Whenever you are back in court, the order will be reconsidered to ensure that they keep up with changing circumstances in your matter.

A temporary DVO can include any terms that would ordinarily be included in the final protection order and can include prohibitions from approaching someone’s home, their workplace, contacting them, or posting things on the internet amongst many other conditions.

If you have been served with a temporary protection order, immediately contact a solicitor and get legal advice as to what the terms mean because if you breach any term of the order, it is considered a criminal offence. 

What Happens if I Have Been Served with an Domestic Violence Order?

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You must carefully read the order that has been served upon you, together with the supporting application. You may agree or disagree with the application, but you must make a very careful decision about what you do because it could affect you later on (particularly if there are Family Law proceedings in place or likely to commence).

Once you have been served with an order of the court, you must strictly comply with it. You will be notified of the date that your matter will be heard in court. If you fail to appear in court, then it is likely that an order will be made in your absence.

At court, you can agree to a final order (with or without making admissions), or you can contest the order. If you choose to agree, then it is likely that the court will make the order that day. If you contest the order, your matter will be adjourned to another day for the hearing of evidence.

We can represent you in court to protect your interests. If you work with Brooke Winter Solicitors, a specialist domestic violence lawyer will help you to understand your options. Together, we will work towards the best possible outcome for your situation. We have offices on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and in Hobart, and can represent you throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.

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Domestic violence is when one person behaves in a way that controls or dominates another person and causes fear for their safety and wellbeing. It happens in intimate, family or informal care relationships.

It can take many forms:

  • physical or sexual abuse—punching, hitting, choking, or threatening to punch or hit, forcing a person to participate in sexual acts, damaging someone’s property or threatening to damage property, including hurting or threatening to hurt pets
  • emotional or psychological abuse—stalking, repeated text messaging, making insulting comments, calling someone names, blackmailing or extorting, preventing contact with family and/or friends, controlling someone’s appearance, putting them down, threatening to expose their sexual orientation
  • economic abuse—denying, withholding, controlling or misusing money or property, or threatening to do so
    threatening behaviour—saying things or acting in a way to make someone feel afraid, threatening to commit suicide or self-harm, stalking
  • coercive behaviour—forcing, intimidating or manipulating a person to do things they don’t want to do, such as sign a contract (e.g. for a loan) or a legal document giving another person power over their affairs (e.g. power of attorney).

Domestic violence extends to children seeing violence, like their parent being hurt, being called names, things being broken or police arriving.

There are many Government and community support services to help you if you’re in a domestic violence relationship. Most of them provide free services.

Two immediate services are listed below:


DVConnect’s Womensline is Queensland’s only 24 hour, 7 days a week crisis response telephone helpline. It is a service for Queenslanders who want to escape domestic and family violence.

The number one goal of Womensline is to respond to immediate safety needs. Womensline offers free, specialist crisis counselling, as well as information, referrals and support to people living with domestic and family violence. Each day our counsellors support Queenslanders who fear violent partners, ex-partners, or family members. They need a safe place for themselves, their children, and in a lot of cases, their pets.

In 2017/2018 financial year, Womensline received 98,174 phone calls and referrals.


DVConnect’s Mensline is a free, confidential telephone crisis counselling, referral and support service for men living in Queensland. This service is available 9am until midnight, 7 days a week. In the last financial year, DVConnect’s Mensline received almost 15,000 phone calls and referrals.

DVConnect’s Mensline offers counselling, referral and support for both:

  • Men who are experiencing domestic and family violence
  • Men who are using violence in their relationships

When making an application for a domestic violence order, one can apply to have children included on the protection order if they have been exposed to domestic violence. Exposure to domestic violence includes hearing, seeing, or otherwise experiencing domestic violence.

This includes situations where a child helps a family member who has been injured as a result of domestic violence or where a child sees damaged property in their home as a result of domestic violence. An unborn child can also be deemed to have been exposed to domestic violence.

The Magistrate will consider the request to include children on the domestic violence protection order and will do so if the court deems it necessary and desirable to protect the children from domestic violence.

If someone has lodged an application for a domestic violence order (DVO) against you, you will be called ‘the respondent’ on the application and in the courtroom.

A police officer will give you a copy of the application. It’s important that you read the application carefully. The application will include the allegations made against you by the aggrieved (person who will be protected by the order) and a date and time that you need to go to court.

You can appear in court by yourself or with your lawyer. If you want representation but can’t afford a lawyer, contact Legal Aid Queensland or your local courthouse.

If you have received an application and don’t go to court when you’re required to, the court can make a final protection order or temporary protection order (two types of DVOs) against you in your absence.

A magistrate may also issue a warrant for police to take you into custody and bring you to court.

It is a criminal offence to breach a Domestic Violence Order.

A defendant who breaches a Domestic Violence or Protection Order in Queensland is liable to a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine up to 120 penalty units ($14,136).

If you have previously been convicted of a domestic violence offence, this penalty is increased to five years imprisonment or a fine up to 240 penalty units ($28, 272).

Alternatively, a Court may order a term of probation, requiring that a defendant participate in domestic violence courses or any other intervention deemed necessary by the Probation and Parole office.

A breach of a Domestic Violence Order may also result in a criminal record.

A court can also make an intervention order when it is making or varying a domestic violence order.

An intervention order requires the respondent to attend an approved intervention program and/or counselling to address the respondent’s violent behaviour. This order can only be made with the respondent’s consent. The court can only make an intervention order if it is satisfied there is an appropriate program or counselling available at a reasonably convenient location to the respondent.

The Court will consider that the Respondent has breached an Order of the Court and will be unlikely to vary the Domestic Violence Order in a way that is favourable to the Respondent. It is not a criminal offence to breach an intervention order, however, it is noted on the Court file and can be used against the Respondent in future proceedings.

If you’re experiencing domestic violence, you can apply for a domestic violence order (DVO). The DVO sets out conditions that must be obeyed by the person who has committed the violence (‘the respondent’). You can complete the relevant application form online or download and print the form to complete it by hand.

When completing the form, answer all the questions on the form and include as much information as possible, including what domestic violence has happened or been threatened, and when and where it occurred.

Try to provide as much detail as you can and, when describing what the respondent has said to you, try to use their words as you remember them. You can attach extra pages to your application.

There is no cost to apply for a domestic violence order.

Where can I get help as a victim of sexual abuse?

The following sexual violence support services can provide you with immediate and ongoing support to improve your personal safety and ensure you have access to the healing, justice and support that you need to recover.

Service providerPhone numberLocation
13 HEALTH13 43 25 84Statewide
Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline1800 010 120Statewide
1800RESPECT1800 737 732Statewide
DVConnect1800 811 811Statewide
Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivor Support Centre (BRISSC)(07) 3391 0004Brisbane/Inala
Cairns Sexual Assault Service(07) 4031 3590Cairns
Centacare Community Connections(07) 4162 5439Kingaroy
Centre Against Sexual Violence(07) 3808 3299Logan/Redlands
Gladstone Women’s Health Centre(07) 4979 1456Gladstone
Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence(07) 5591 1164Southport
Immigrant Women’s Support Service (IWSS)(07) 3846 3490Brisbane
Laurel Place

(07) 5482 7911

(07) 5443 4711

(07) 5499 2096



Moreton Bay

Lifeline Darling Downs and Southwest1300 991 431Roma
Living Well (for male victims)(07) 3028 4648Strathpine
Mackay Women’s Sexual Assault Service(07) 4953 1788Mackay
MARS Australia (for men affected by rape and sexual abuse)(07) 3857 1222Brisbane
Mount Isa/Gulf Domestic and Family Violence Service(07) 4749 1901Mount Isa
Murrigunyah Family and Cultural Healing Centre(07) 3290 4254Logan
Phoenix House(07) 4153 4299Bundaberg
Queensland Health Sexual Assault Service

(07) 3646 5207

(07) 3810 1111

(07) 4652 7983

(07) 4968 3919 or after hours (07) 4968 6000

(07) 4744 4447

(07) 4616 6950 or after hours (07) 4616 6000





Mount Isa


Service Against Sexual Violence

(07) 3816 3000

(07) 4642 1354



Sisters Inside Sexual Assault Service
(for women who are or have been in prison)
(07) 3844 5066Brisbane
Tablelands Sexual Assault Service(07) 4091 4036Atherton
Whitsunday Counselling and Support(07) 4946 2999Whitsundays
Wide Bay Sexual Assault Services(07) 4194 5230Wide Bay
Women’s Centre Townsville(07) 4775 7555Townsville
Women’s Health Centre Rockhampton(07) 4922 6585Rockhampton
WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Service
(for women with intellectual disability)
(07) 3262 9877Brisbane
Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre(07) 3843 1823Brisbane

Domestic Violence Information

1. What is domestic and family violence?

2. What is a Domestic Violence Order?

3. How to apply for a protection order

4. What happens in court?

5. What if I’m served?

6. Understanding the conditions on a Domestic Violence Order

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