If you are in a domestic relationship, and you are worried about your safety, you need to contact the Police.  The Police can put in place a Police Safety Order to help keep you safe.

Alternatively, you can seek a Protection Order from the Court.  Usually a Protection Order can be applied for urgently, and a Judge will make a decision on the same day you apply for it. 

It is important to note that domestic violence is wider than just physical abuse.  It can also include sexual abuse (like forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to), psychological abuse (like swearing, yelling, and insults), and financial or economic abuse (preventing you having access to money).

A domestic relationship is a relationship between a husband and wife, civil union partners, de facto partners, parents of the same child, people related by blood, or through adoption, people who live together, or people in a close personal relationship who don’t live together.

A Protection Order can include several people (for instance a partner and children).  The Protection Order can also cover the offender and associated people (for example other people who encourage violence).

If you apply for a Protection Order and it is granted it will usually last for 3 months to allow the alleged abuser to defend the allegations.  If the alleged abuser decides to oppose the Protection Order, there is likely to be a Court hearing to determine if the Protection Order should be cancelled, or made final. 

If the offender does not defend the Protection Order it will automatically become final after 3 months.

If someone has made an application for a Protection Order against you, you will need to decide whether you want to oppose it. 

Usually a Protection Order will prevent you from having contact with the people listed in the Protection Order.  It will also prevent you from holding a firearms license. You may also be ordered to attend a non-violence program. 

If you break the conditions set out in the Protection Order, you can be prosecuted.  A conviction can affect things like your ability to travel or obtain loans so it can have very wide implications beyond the immediate issue of your behaviour and the effects on others.


Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.