Telling your story - Interim FVROs
The inside of a courtroom
Oath or affirmation: what's the difference?
When you are called to the witness box, the magistrate or court officer will ask if you want to make an oath or affirmation before giving your evidence. This is a promise to the court to tell the truth.
- If you are religious, you can swear an oath on the Bible or the Koran.
- If you do not want to swear an oath, you can give an affirmation instead.
It does not matter which one you choose. Both are serious promises that what you will say in your evidence is the truth.
What do I need to cover?
In giving your evidence, try to remember that the magistrate will consider the following factors when making their decision:
- The need to make sure you are protected from violence.
- The need to prevent behaviour that could reasonably be expected to cause you to think that family violence will be committed against you.
- The need to ensure the wellbeing of children.
- Your housing needs and those of the Respondent.
- The past history of restraining order applications for you and the Respondent.
- Hardship that may be caused to the Respondent.
- Any family orders.
- Any current legal proceedings involving you or the Respondent.
- Any criminal convictions of the Respondent.
- Any police orders and/or incident reports relating to the Respondent.
- Any previous similar behaviour of the Respondent whether in relation to you or otherwise.
- Any risk assessment, or risk-relevant information, about the relationship between you and the Respondent.
- Any other matters the court sees as relevant.
Try to focus your evidence on things that are relevant to these factors, especially the first three.
In addition to what you say, the magistrate can find out about the Respondent’s criminal convictions and previous restraining order histories from court records.
Dealing with nerves
Many people get nervous in court. Take your time - it's your application. Here are some tips from a magistrate on how to deal with nerves.