COVID-19: Applying for a VRO
If you are at risk of personal violence, it is very important to think about your safety in deciding what to do next.
There are a range of possible options to help protect you, including getting a Violence Restraining Order (VRO).
How can I apply for a VRO?
Changes to the law in WA have made it easier for some people to apply for a VRO.
You can apply online for a VRO through an approved legal service provider.
Alternatively, you are able to apply for a VRO in person at court, subject to COVID-19 restrictions, or by fax.
Changes have been made that may make it easier for the police to serve the respondent if an interim order is made. Put as many contact details in your application as possible about the respondent, for example, their address, phone number and also their date of birth and the correct spelling of their name.
What happens after I lodge my application?
Some courts in WA have different processes for getting a VRO, due to COVID-19 and other reasons. If you are not sure, ask your legal service provider or check with the court where your case will be heard.
If you lodge online you can select a hearing time. If you have an urgent need for an earlier hearing time than is available online, you or your legal service provider will have to ring the court to see if an earlier hearing time is possible.
If due to COVID-19, or for some other reason, you need to appear by phone you must ask for this in your application and explain why. You or your legal service provider will need to check with the court to see if your request is granted.
The court process after you lodge your application may change because of COVID-19 restrictions. You should check the current processes with the court. For example, you should check if you can still bring a support person with you to court for an in person first hearing, and you should check whether you have to attend court by phone or video.
If you are appearing by phone, make sure you have a quiet and safe space when the court rings you. It is preferable your children are not around during the hearing, so they don’t hear what is talked about.
How do I find an approved legal service provider to help me lodge an online application?
Contact the Commissioner for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice on (08) 9425 2973 during business hours or visit the Commissioner’s website. Some community legal centres may also be able to assist you but please note some can only help with family violence restraining orders.
Reviewed: 23 March 2022