If you continue to use cash to pay for your coffee in the morning on the way to work, you are one of very few. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many Australians using contactless payment systems to replace the use of cash, whether it be using their card, phone, or watch.

“The decline in cash payments is largely fuelled by the introduction of new payment technologies”, says head of market analysis at East & Partners, Martin Smith. According to Smith, “As consumers continue to embrace platforms such as wearables, contactless payments and mobile payments, and they’re further integrated into everyday life, the need to carry cash will continue to diminish at an accelerated rate”.

On top of that, banks have been cutting down on their available ATMs. According to the Australian Payments Network, there were 29,348 ATMs in Australia in March 2019. That has dropped to 27,870 by March 2020. Adjunct Professor at Swinburne University, Steve Worthington made the following statement:

“The cashless element is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is becoming harder and harder to access cash through ATMs or bank branches. Therefore, people have less opportunity to spend cash because then merchants don’t accept cash anymore”.

As Australia flirts with the idea of a cashless society, experts have warned the elimination of coins and notes and the emergence of a cashless society may not benefit all. There are still groups of people who rely on cash, including victims of domestic violence and financial abuse.


Domestic violence is an increasing concern in Australia and can come in many forms including financial abuse. Financial abuse involves a pattern where a person seeks to control finances to dominate another person. It is not uncommon to hear stories of abusers blocking or controlling access to financial assets, to coerce their victims into staying with them.

Financial abuse is insidious, what might at first appear like a very nice offering to manage the bills soon escalates into the abuser having full control over all bank accounts. This leaves the victim in a very vulnerable position where even if they wanted to escape, they would not have any access to funds to pay for living expenses or to care for their children. This type of abuse is just as effective in controlling an abused victim as a lock and key.

A cashless society will make it even more difficult for a suffering victim to escape the vicious cycle of abuse they find themselves trapped in.

The previous plan of leaving with a stash of cash to get by temporarily until they are back on their feet would no longer be an option. The abuser will get their way and the victim will stay because of the circumstance. This would be a very sad and unfortunate reality for many financially abused victims if society was to become completely cashless.


An AVO is a court order designed to protect someone (the person in need of protection – PINOP) from the abuse or threats of abuse of another person (the defendant). There are two types of AVOs:

Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO)

An ADVO is short for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. ADVO only applies to domestic relationships such as husband, wife, children any other relationship to which may be domestic in nature.

You can get an ADVO that protects you even if you are still living with or in a current relationship with the defendant.

Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO)

APVOs are usually made in circumstances involving neighbours or acquaintances, not for domestic and family violence matters.


The offence of breaching an AVO in New South Wales is set out in section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

The section reads:

(1) A person who knowingly contravenes a prohibition or restriction specified in an apprehended violence made against the person is guilty of an offence.

The maximum penalty for the offence is imprisonment for 2 years or 50 penalty units, or both.

An AVO is a protection order that places conditions on a defendant. An AVO is breached if you do something that is in breach of the conditions listed in the order.


The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of contravene AVO.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you were prohibited to act in a certain way under an Apprehended Violence Order;
  • That you contravened that prohibition; and
  • Did so knowing the prohibition was in place.


If you have been charged with contravene AVO our team of specialised Criminal Lawyers are here to help. Our leading Sydney criminal law firm has achieved excellent results in many matters of this nature. Contact Us today to learn about your options.

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