Telling your story - Interim FVROs

Logo for FRVO self-help guideThe court can only make an FVRO if there are grounds for the order. It is really important for the court to hear from you about why you need the FVRO.

When you go into court, you will need to give evidence to support why you need an interim FVRO.

Going through the process of preparing your affidavit will help you order your thoughts and think about the most important points you need to make. If you filed an affidavit with your application, some magistrates may let you adopt its contents as your evidence and may not ask many questions at all. But other magistrates may ask you lots of questions, so you need to be ready to speak in court.

Take your time. The magistrate will guide you through the process.

The inside of a courtroom

Video: A tour of a courtroom

Oath or affirmation: what's the difference?

When you are called up 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 treated as 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 court will consider the following factors when making a 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.
  • Your's and the Respondent’s past history of restraining order applications.
  • 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, relating to 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.

Video: Magistrate's tips for dealing with nerves

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.