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There are multiple types of situations where a person may need to receive protection from domestic abuse or other harmful conduct. An order of protection can be used in these cases, and it can help a person leave an abusive situation, prevent their abuser from contacting them, and put other restrictions in place. In a recent blog, we looked at when an order of protection may be appropriate. As a follow-up, we wanted to look at the types of orders that are available and the process that is followed when a person asks for these types of protections.

Types of Orders of Protection

Most of the time, a victim of domestic abuse will file a petition for an emergency order of protection. This is also known as a temporary or “ex parte” order of protection, and a person can request a hearing before a judge where they will provide reasons for why the order is necessary. The respondent to the order does not need to be present at this hearing, and they will usually be notified after the order has been issued. 

St. Charles domestic violence attorneyFew people expect that they will need to protect themselves from a romantic partner. However, one out of four women and one out of nine men experience domestic violence, accounting for 15 percent of all violent crimes. Victims of domestic violence can take steps to escape an abusive situation by seeking help from an attorney and filing for an order of protection from their partner or spouse. However, even after escaping domestic abuse, many people struggle to move on and rebuild their lives.

What Is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a court-issued directive that provides legal protection for victims of domestic violence, abuse, or stalking. An order of protection can include a variety of requirements, including an order to stop the abuse, limits on contact between an abuser and his or her victims, and a requirement for the abuser to move out of a shared home. Having an order of protection in place can provide safety, and an alleged abuser can face serious consequences, including criminal charges, for violating the order. Police will take any domestic calls very seriously when a person has an order of protection in place.

Adjusting to Changes in Your Life

An order of protection can be crucial for ensuring a person’s safety in the short-term, but survivors of domestic violence or abuse often take time to cope with the long-term effects on their lives. The healing process is gradual and unique to each individual, but these suggestions can help you on the path toward building a happier and healthier life for yourself:

St. Charles domestic violence protection attorneyDid you know that, on average, 24 people per minute are victimized by physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States? This amounts to more than 12 million women and men each year. It is estimated that one in three women and one in four men in this country will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives. In addition, 75 percent of domestic violence victims have children living in the home with them. Efforts have been made to provide better protections from domestic violence, but there is still work to be done.

Domestic Violence Can Leave Victims Paralyzed by Fear

Domestic violence involves complex psychological effects for the women and men who experience it. In many cases, victims do not want their abuser arrested and jailed, they only want the abuse to stop. Fearing that involving law enforcement will upset their lives too much, many victims suffer in silence for years, not sharing with anyone the abuse they have been forced to endure. Orders of protection can be issued to keep abusers away from victims, but victims need to be able to depend on police departments and the court system to uphold those orders.

A Changing Culture

Thankfully, society has changed its attitudes about domestic violence over the last few decades. According to a 1987 survey, 50 percent of Americans thought it was acceptable for a husband to beat his wife with a belt. Ten years later, almost 90 percent said it was wrong—a percentage that largely holds to this day.

Posted on in Domestic Violence

How Domestic Violence Affects Divorce SettlementsDomestic violence between spouses can lead to or result from divorce. A person may choose to end his or her marriage because his or her spouse is abusive. In other cases, asking for a divorce may trigger a spouse’s threatening behavior. Either way, domestic violence changes how a divorce is settled. The divorce court will likely favor the victim in matters of allocation of parental responsibilities and division of property.

Order of Protection

With any case of domestic violence, the victim’s first responsibility is to protect him or herself, as well as other victims. A victim spouse should immediately seek an order of protection against the abusive spouse. The order includes several benefits for the victim spouse, such as:

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Planning Before Leaving an Abusive HomeIt is easy for observers to say that victims of domestic violence can protect themselves by simply leaving. The victims, who are statistically most likely to be women, may say that the matter is more complicated. A domestic violence victim can understand that she needs to leave her abuser but worry about the consequences of leaving, such as:

  • Ending her relationship with someone she still loves;
  • Retaliation from her abuser when she leaves;
  • Finding a place to live; and
  • Economically supporting herself and her children.

Many of these doubts can be addressed by planning ahead before leaving. If you are a victim or at risk of domestic abuse, you need a plan in place that will allow you to leave quickly and feel safe.

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