Legal assistance in apprehended violence (AVO) cases    


For defendants who are under 18

Legal Aid

All children and young people appearing before the Children’s Court as defendants are entitled to be represented by a lawyer from Legal Aid NSW  or a lawyer paid for by Legal Aid NSW.

Children’s Legal Service is the specialist unit of Legal Aid NSW whose lawyers provides free advice and representation for all children who are defendants in Apprehended Domestic Violence proceedings.

Duty lawyers are available at Children’s Courts and Local Courts throughout the state. ​Duty lawyers either work for Legal Aid or are private lawyers paid by Legal Aid to help you.

Law Society of NSW 

If you do not wish to be represented by Legal Aid, the Law Society provides an online search to help you find a qualified lawyer suitable for your matter. You will need to pay fees for the lawyer. See the Law Society of NSW Solicitor Referral Service.

For victims (or persons in need of protection)

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLO's)

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers are specialist police officers, trained in domestic and family violence and child protection. Each of the Local Area Commands in NSW has one or more DVLO’s and they are located at the major police stations.

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers can provide advice and support to victims and help with the AVO court process. They can also give referrals to support agencies who can help victims, such as refuges. One of their other roles is to monitor repeat victims and perpetrators.

To contact a local Domestic Violence Liaison Officer, phone your local police station and ask to speak to the ‘DVLO’.

Women's Legal Services

Women's Legal Services provides a free community legal service for women in NSW. It’s services include a Domestic Violence Legal Service, a special legal advice and advocacy service for women subjected to domestic violence.

Community Legal Centres

Community Legal Centres (CLCs) offer a range of legal and related services to their client community. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Information and referral
  • Advice on legal matters
  • Legal casework and representation in targeted areas of law
  • Community legal education
  • Law reform and public policy development and advocacy.

For a list of Community Legal Centres in NSW, go to the  directory of Community Legal Centres.