Sadly, violence, abuse, and intimidation aren’t uncommon in relationships. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence” in the U.S. alone. In addition to this, millions more suffer the effects of stalking and harassment.
How Do You Get a Protection Order?
However, you can take action to stop the perpetrator from abusing you. As well as reporting them to the police, you could file for an Order for Protection to increase your safety.
What is an Order for Protection?
An Order for Protection is granted by a court and designed to protect from abuse. Depending on the type of abuse committed, the Order will limit how the perpetrator can behave. It may state that they cannot visit your property, for example, or attend your workplace. Alternatively, an Order could be used to prevent the perpetrator from attempting to contact you via phone, email, or text.
In some instances, a perpetrator may commit multiple different types of abuse against the same partner. If so, an Order for Protection can be drafted to restrict their behavior in several ways. This helps ensure the perpetrator cannot continue to harass, abuse, or intimidate the victim without breaking the terms of the Order.
Requesting an Order for Protection
To obtain an Order for Protection, you need to complete the relevant forms and file them at a courthouse. Known as an Order for Protection Petition, this form will ask you to detail the abuse. It’s best to give as much detail as possible. Doing so will help the court draft a comprehensive Order that addresses all concerning conduct committed by the perpetrator.
Once you’ve filed the petition, it will be reviewed by a judge, papers will be served on the petitioner, and a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, you’ll need to provide further details of the abuse and present evidence to support your position.
However, if you feel that you are in immediate danger, an Ex Parte Order for Protection can be issued before the hearing. This means it will come into force as soon as the other party is served and will remain in force until the hearing takes place.
Getting Legal Advice
Dealing with any abuse is traumatic, stressful, and overwhelming. Although you can file for an Order for Protection, you may find it helpful to seek legal advice and assistance. With legal representation, you can ensure that your paperwork is completed accurately, that the relevant procedures are followed, and that your case is presented coherently in court.
This can speed up obtaining an Order for Protection and reduces the risk of administrative errors causing delays. Accessing legal help throughout the process will allow you to explore options relevant to your situation. These can be things such as separation or divorce. With the right support, you can take action against the abuser, enhance your safety, and move forward with your life.