What is a protection order and how can I get one?
People who are experiencing family and sexual violence are able to apply for a protection order to stop the violence.
Protection orders are issued by a court and contain conditions that aim to prevent further violence. They may contain conditions requiring the perpetrator of violence to not commit any more violence, or stay away from the survivor.
There are two types of protection orders, interim protection orders (IPO) and protection orders. Interim protections orders are faster to obtain, but last only 30 days. Protection orders can last for up to two years. After receiving an IPO, survivors can ask for it to be converted into a protection order for longer term support.
Many survivors report feeling safer after they receive a protection order, and research suggests that many perpetrators follow the conditions set by protection orders.
Applying for a protection order involves completing some paperwork. There is no application fee.
The video below, from the Department of Pacific Affairs at the ANU, explains in Tok Pisin how you can apply for an interim protection order and protection order.
Complete and lodge an application form. You can receive this form and advise on how to complete it from the District Court, Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU) or the public solicitors.
After an application is lodged, a date will be set for the IPO hearing.
Attend the IPO hearing. The person who applied for the IPO needs to attend the IPO hearing. The person who is perpetrating the violence can attend, but does not need to attend. An IPO can be granted without the perpetrator being present at the court.
At the hearing, the magistrate will issue an IPO if they are satisfied that the applicant is in danger of domestic violence.
The applicant can ask the court to convert the IPO into a longer term protection order.
The IPO or protection order is served to the perpetrator.
For the IPO or protection order to become active it needs to be given to the perpetrator. This is called serving the order. Once an order has been served it becomes illegal if the perpetrator does not follow the orders in the IPO or protection order.
In some circumstances, Femili PNG may be able to assist you to obtain a protection order through its case management centes in Lae, Port Moresby or Goroka. To contact us, see our contact page.
The Village court, District Court, Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU) or the public solicitors office can also assist with an application for an protection order.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing family or sexual violence, you can contact us or call the toll-free 1-Tok Kaunselin Helpim Lain on 7150 8000 from anywhere in PNG. This service is open from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.