Family Violence Intervention Order


  • Portable Studios
  • Neighbourhood Justice Centre


In 2013, Portable Studios began working with the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) to reinterpret the family violence legal process as experienced by victims, the courts and the police related.

The Family Violence Intervention Order was redesigned from its paper form into an app and online form format accessible on smartphones, tablets and the NJC website. It purported to solve how requests from potential victims of violence were handled by courts and the police.

The project received state and federal funding and has been cited as an innovative best practice as part as the Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria.

Key Features


Transition from paper to digital – increases court speech and efficiency in processing forms. ‘High risk’ applications are highlighted to give a better idea of the applicant’s urgency or risks to the victim.

Accurate statistics and reporting: Utilising digital processes allows for thorough documentation process. This serves to inform policy and procedures for the court sector.

Reduces pressure on court system: By altering the emotional logic of the form – the format, length and design – the app reduces pressure on the courts who handle a large volume of intervention orders made by police.


Less stress: By avoiding legalese language and reducing the amount of questions for the end user, the process demonstrated empathy and compassion for the potential victim.

Easy to understand: Applicants were able to complete the form without additional stress of not understanding terms. Terms that are ambiguous or may cause confusion are marked and provide a textbox definition without exiting the application page.

Putting safety first: Potential victims can feel safe reporting and requesting the intervention order by logging it digitally.


Access: app becomes accessible to any applicant who has access to a mobile device or web access. The utility of an app minimises the inefficacy of a paper trial, where reports may get lost, incorrectly submitted or face delays in being processed.

Cross-disciplinary design: Involvement of the justice system allowed Portable to enhance the user\’s and justice centre’s experience. By shadowed court staff and engaged with users, conducted ethnographic research and used a wide range of Design Thinking practices to iterate towards a solution to appeal to a broad range of users (technologically-apt and inept, young and old).

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