Staying safe while the police investigate

While the police investigate your case, they have to make sure that you’ll be safe.

They can do this by:

  • releasing the suspect on bail with conditions not to contact or go near you
  • issuing a domestic violence protection notice (DPVN)

You can also get legal protection by applying for an order from the family or civil courts. For information on finding somewhere safe to live, see Housing.

Domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPNs and DVPOs)

The police may issue a domestic violence protection notice (DVPN) to keep you safe after you report abuse if:

  • they don’t make an arrest
  • they make an arrest but need time to investigate
  • they decide to take no further action on the case
  • the abuser has been released on bail with no conditions

The DVPN is a temporary measure that can stop someone from bothering you or coming near your home. It also gives you time to sort out your living arrangements if you need to.

A magistrate’s court needs to approve a DVPN within 48 hours, at which point it becomes a domestic violence protection order (DVPO) which can last for up to 28 days.

If someone breaks a DVPN or DVPO, they can be arrested, fined and jailed for up to 2 months.