If your partner is being abusive and you are immediately concerned for your safety, you may apply for an emergency protection order (EPO). An EPO will force him to leave the family home and allow you and your children to stay. You can apply for an EPO very quickly and only you (and not your abusive partner) have to provide information to a justice of the peace (JP), who will consider the application and decide whether or not to grant the EPO.
If the JP grants an EPO your abusive partner will have to leave the home for up to 90 days. Often police will escort him allowing him first to collect some of his personal belongings. The EPO may also indicate that the abuser may not communicate with you, cannot damage, sell, or take property, and may be required to turn over to the police any weapons that he owns.
Your partner will not be arrested or charged with a criminal offence. However, if he does not obey the emergency protection order he can be charged under the Protection Against Family Violence Act. If found guilty of an offence under this act the punishment is a fine, or possibly a term of imprisonment, or both.
Included in this Legal Pathways chapter include:
Emergency Protection Orders
- What is an “emergency protection order” (EPO)? (see above)
- Enforcement of emergency protection orders
- How do you get an emergency protection order?
- How to explain your situation to the justice of the peace
- Supreme Court Review of EPO’s
- Obeying the EPO
- Other Protection Orders and Peace Bonds
- What is a “Protection Order”?
- What is a “Restraining Order”?
- What is a “Peace Bond”?
- Differences of Various Protection
- Orders and Peace Bonds