9.1 Police play a key role in responding to family violence. They may attend a scene of family violence and may issue or apply for a protection order for the victim; they may need to decide whether someone needs protection even though the person declines it; they may find two persons who both seem angry, injured, fearful and distraught and have to decide whether one was the aggressor and the other needs protection; and, as discussed in the previous chapter, police may discover potential criminal behaviour and have to decide whether to prosecute. In responding to family violence and in obtaining civil protection orders, police may use powers and procedures mainly designed to enforce criminal laws—powers of entry, search, seizure, arrest, direction and detention. This chapter considers these interactions between family violence laws and state and territory criminal procedures.[1]

[1] The enforcement of injunctions under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) is discussed in Ch 17.