Criminal law

How can I get an intervention order in South Australia?

Firstly… what is an intervention order?

Intervention orders help to protect a person and their family if they are a victim of abuse, and are tailored to the particular person and their situation. Intervention orders are designed to prevent someone that is harassing, threatening or abusing a person from having contact with them. They can be issued by the police or by a court.

SA Police has a comprehensive information page about intervention orders, which includes downloadable resources and important links. Take a look here.

How can I obtain an intervention order?

Anyone can make a private application for an intervention order to the Magistrates Court in South Australia. However, in the first instance, any allegations of domestic violence should be reported to the Police. Police then have the power, in certain circumstances, to immediately issue an intervention order against any person alleged to have committed acts of abuse, whether in a domestic or non-domestic setting.

South Australia Police can be reluctant to intervene in some circumstances, particularly when the ‘acts of abuse‘ do not involve physical violence. This does not mean that you don’t have a basis for an intervention order.

The Intervention Orders (prevention of abuse) Act 2009 (the Act) contains a very broad definition of ‘acts of abuse’, the definition extends far beyond physical violence. The Act defines an “act of abuse” to including:

  • Physical injury to you or your family members
  • Emotional or psychological harm
  • Denial of your personal freedom to make financial, social and personal choices
  • Damage to your property.

The Act further defines “emotional or psychological harm” to include mental illness, nervous shock, distress, anxiety, or fear, that is more than trivial.

How can Intervention Orders help you?

A court can make an intervention order in either one, all, or a combination of the circumstances or behaviours listed above. This would mean that the court would grant an order preventing a defendant from engaging in certain conduct, which can include:

  • not being allowed to come to your home or place of work
  • not being permitted to go to your children’s school
  • not being able to phone you
  • not being allowed to send you messages
  • not being permitted to follow or keep you under surveillance.

It is important to note that the purpose of Intervention Orders is to assist in preventing domestic and non-domestic abuse, and the exposure of children to the effects of domestic and non-domestic abuse.

TGB can help

If you’re experiencing domestic or family violence in any of the circumstances outlined above you should seek help. Even if police won’t act, or you don’t want to involve the police, you can still protect yourself by making an application for an intervention order. Get in touch with us on 08 8212 1077 or at to obtain advice in relation the application process. We can assist you throughout the entire process and represent you at all Court hearings.