What is a Non-Molestation Order?

Non-molestation orders are a type of court order used to protect survivors of domestic violence. A non-molestation order can state clearly that the abuser must not:

  • be violent or threaten violence towards you or any children in your family, or harass, pester or intimidate you in any different ways (including, for example, by text message);
  • come within a certain distance of your home (if the abuser has a legal right to occupy the home then you will need to apply for an occupation order; or
  • damage or dispose of your belongings.

In order to apply to Court for a non-molestation order you need to be an 'associated person' i.e. you are associated with your abuser. The law says that you are an 'associated person' if you:

  • are or were married or in a civil partnership;
  • are or were engaged to be married or had agreed to form a civil partnership;
  • are or were living together (this includes same-sex and opposite-sex couples);
  • live or have lived in the same household (but not as a tenant, boarder, lodger or employee);
  • are relatives, including: parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews or first cousins (whether by full-blood, half-blood, marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation);
  • are parents of the same child;
  • have or have had parental responsibility for the same child;
  • are parties to the same family proceedings for the same child; or,
  • are or were in an intimate personal relationship of significant duration.

When deciding whether to grant a non-molestation order the court will consider all of your circumstances, including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of you and any children.

If the abuser does anything to break the terms of a non-molestation order, they can be arrested by the police and be charged for committing a criminal offence. If they are found guilty they can be punished by up to 5 years in prison and / or a fine.

You can also apply to the court which made the non-molestation order for your abuser to be put in prison.

For further information, see Rights of Women's Guide to Domestic Violence Injunctions.