Domestic violence isn’t a fun topic, but it’s still one that you should know a bit about. We’ll use this article to review domestic violence laws and restraining orders since the former often leads to the latter.
What is Domestic Violence?
Most people have a high-level idea of what constitutes domestic violence. Maybe they’ve seen TV shows or movies where some kind of domestic violence is displayed. Perhaps you’ve heard some domestic violence statistics, such as the fact that 20 people are victims of domestic violence every minute.
But what constitutes domestic violence? There’s probably more to it than you think.
Domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are currently or have been in an intimate relationship. It’s also considered domestic violence if they are related by marriage or blood.
What’s considered abuse?
- Harassing, stalking, or threatening
- Disturbing the person’s peace
- Destroying their personal property
- Making someone feel afraid that they or someone else will get seriously hurt
- Sexual assault
- Recklessly or intentionally physically hurting someone or trying to
As you can see, there’s more to domestic violence than just hurting someone. It can be verbal abuse, kicking, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, following you – all kinds of things. Domestic violence is a physical, emotional, and psychological situation.
Now let’s talk about a potential solution – restraining orders.
What’s a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
This is another thing you may have heard about in TV shows or movies. A restraining order is a court order to help protect people from abuse or threats of abuse.
According to domestic violence laws,there are two main requirements necessary to ask for a domestic violence restraining order:
- A person has threatened to abuse you or has abused you.
- You have a very close relationship with that person. For example, you can be married to them, divorced, a roommate, dating (or previously dated), or they may be a relative.
If you’re a parent of a minor under 12 years old, you can also file a restraining order on behalf of your child. In addition, children 12 years or older can file their own restraining order.
Keep in mind that even if these don’t apply, but you are being abused – for example, at work – there are other types of restraining orders available. We can help you navigate those types if you are being abused by someone like your boss at work or a neighbor.
What Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Can and Can’t Do
Remember that the point of a restraining order is to protect the abused. This means it can order the restrained person to
- Not contact you or get near you, your relatives, or people who live with you
- Stay away from your work, home, and child’s school
- Move out of the house
- Pay child support or spousal support if married
- Pay certain bills
- Complete an intervention program
It can do more things, but you get the point. The restraining order is there to protect you and your loved ones.
What it does not do is end your marriage. A restraining order is different from a divorce.
There’s much more to this challenging issue than we can write out in this article. But if you think either you or a loved one may be experiencing domestic abuse, call us at 714.456.9118 or send us an email, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible to help.