If there are only children listed in an AVO application, police are the only authority who can make the application under section 48(3) Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act.
It is encouraged to include children in AVOs where children are involved in domestic and family violence incidences. The courts, or officers of the court, are required to place children considered in need of protection on an AVO, unless the defendant can justify the exclusion of the children from the order.
An AVO is a civil matter and does not result in a criminal offence unless the AVO is breached by the defendant. This means that when police attend a domestic and family violence incident involving children, and they take out an AVO to protect the victim, the children of the person in need of protection will be included on the order. The conditions that apply to the person in need of protection, also apply to the children.
If a defendant breaches an AVO protecting a child, then police will consider whether this breach places the child at risk of significant harm in which case they will be required to make a report to the Child Protection Helpline. A breach of an AVO is a criminal offence, and as such, may place the child at greater risk of harm if the defendant has no respect for court orders, or the safety and wellbeing of the victim or children.