Orders of Protection exist to help individuals who are victims of domestic violence to protect themselves. Orders of Protection can be granted by a Criminal Court judge, a Family Court judge, or if there is a divorce matter pending, by a Supreme Court judge.
Obtaining An Order of Protection
To obtain an Order of Protection you must bring an application and in that application you must state why you want the Order of Protection and who you want the Order of Protection against. There are a number of specific allegations which can be alleged in your petition for an Order of Protection. Some of the more significant allegations contained in applications for Orders of Protection are:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- reckless endangerment
- assault and battery
- sexual abuse
- threatening behavior
When abuse takes place within a family situation, the individuals who are abused are sometimes reticent to speak up concerning the abuse. There are concerns in these situations of retaliation, embarrassment, and sometimes shame. Unfortunately, if an individual does not stand up for his or her rights concerning this abuse, the abuse may get worse and lead to serious physical injury.
Types of Orders of Protection
When an application for an Order of Protection is made, the court has a level of discretion, even when granting the Order of Protection, as to what type of Order of Protection to grant. There are basically two types of Orders of Protection granted by judges. These two types are the Stay Away Order of Protection and the Refrain From Order of Protection. In the Stay Away Order of Protection situation, the individual receiving the Order of Protection receives an order that prevents the abuser from having any contact with the victim. The order will usually state a specific distance the abuser must stay away from the victim. The abuser must avoid going to the home, workplace, or other location where the victim will be present. Sometimes it is also necessary for the victim of domestic violence to also obtain an Order of Protection protecting his or her children in addition to himself or herself.
The second type of Order of Protection is a Refrain From Order. This type of Order of Protection prevents the abuser from engaging or participating in any type of behavior which would threaten the victim, harass the victim, or cause violence against the victim. This Order of Protection usually prevents the abuser from acting personally, or through third parties, with regard to harassing, stalking, or threatening the victim.
Help For Victims of Domestic Violence
If you, a friend, family member or loved one is a victim of domestic violence, the best way to deal with the situation is to immediately contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer. The lawyer can expeditiously move forward to obtain an Order of Protection and cause the domestic violence to stop.