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Domestic and family violence

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 commenced on 17 September 2012 and repeals the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989. To understand how the new Act affects applications and orders made before 17 September 2012, please refer to the factsheet 
How does the change in domestic violence laws affect my application or order? 


    What is domestic violence?

    Domestic violence is:

    • physical or sexual abuse
    • emotional or psychological abuse
    • economic abuse
    • threatening behaviour
    • coercive behaviour or
    • behaviour that in any way controls or dominates or causes a person to fear for their personal safety or wellbeing.

    by one person towards another person with whom they are in a relationship.

    What relationships are covered?

    Relationships covered under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 are:

    Intimate Personal Relationship
    (can include a same sex relationship)
    Spousal relationship
    • De facto
    • Registered relationship
    • Former spouse
    • Parent of a child of the respondent
    • Former parent of a child of the respondent
    • Married
    Engagement relationship Two people who are or were engaged to be married including a betrothal under cultural or religious tradition
    Couple relationship

    Two people who have or had a relationship as a couple. In deciding whether a couple relationship exists, a court may have regard to the following:

    • the degree of trust
    • the level of each person’s dependence
    • the length of time the relationship has existed or did exist
    • the frequency of contact; and
    • the degree of intimacy.
    Family relationship Exists between two people if one of them is or was the relative of the other A relative of a person is someone who is ordinarily understood to be or to have been connected to the person by blood or marriage. A relative of an aggrieved is also a person who is regarded as a relative. This incorporates people who may have a wider concept of a relative e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or people with particular religious beliefs. Children under 18 years of age cannot be named as a respondent or aggrieved under the family relationship.
    Informal care relationship Where one person is dependent on another for help in their daily living activities (including dressing, preparing meals or shopping) An informal care relationship does not exist between a child and a parent of a child; or where there is a commercial arrangement where a fee is paid.

    What is a domestic violence order?

    A domestic violence order is a civil order made by a court that imposes conditions to protect a person from future domestic violence.

    A domestic violence order can either be a protection order or a temporary protection order.

    A protection order is a final long term order that a person must not commit domestic violence against any person named in the order. The court can also impose other conditions in the order, for example, staying away from the aggrieved person’s home or workplace.

    Before a protection order is made, the court may make a temporary protection order which is a short term order that is in force until a final decision is made by the court. A temporary protection order may be made against a respondent before they become aware that an application has been filed at the court.

    Further information and resources

    The Department of Communities has published information relating to domestic and family violence on their website. This information includes a booklet ‘Legislation Explained', a training kit for organisations, information about domestic violence orders and a range of factsheets.

    Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) has published a guide and factsheet to assist those who have experienced domestic or family violence and want to obtain a domestic violence order. LAQ have also published a factsheet to assist those who have an application for a protection order made against them. This information can be obtained from LAQ's website.

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    Forms and fact sheets


    • Form DV1 - Application for a protection order
    • Form DV1a - Guide to completing an application for a protection order
    • Form DV1b - Safety Form 
    • Form DV1c - Aggrieved Details Form 
    • Form DV4  - Application to vary a domestic violence order
    • Form DV9 - Application to vary or revoke a voluntary intervention order
    • Form DV11 - Notice of suitability/non-suitability to participate in an approved intervention program or counselling
    • Form DV12 - Notice of contravention of a voluntary intervention order
    • Form DV13 - Notice of completion of an approved intervention program or counselling
    • Form DV14 - Application for registration in Queensland of an interstate domestic violence order 
    • Form DV16 - Application to vary or cancel a registered interstate order 
    • Form DV21 - Affidavit of service
    • Form DV22 - Subpoena
    • Form DV22a - Request for Supoena

    Fact sheets

    Last reviewed
    13 September 2012
    Last updated
    11 January 2013

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