The pandemic had already emboldened domestic abusers. Everyone is stressed, and that stress puts the loved ones of abusive people at risk. The pandemic has also made it more difficult for family members to physically separate from their abusers. It can be harder to find private time to think, let alone get information. Accessing the court has become harder.
Now, winter is coming. Winter is already a common time for domestic violence. Families are often stuck inside together, and they will be this year. The holidays bring stress. Family dynamics are tougher.
If you are in immediate danger from domestic violence, call 911.
If you are suffering from domestic violence on an ongoing basis, an order of protection may be available to help you. Also called a “restraining order” or “protective order,” an order of protection is a court order telling the abuse to stop committing any further violence. It also:
- Orders the defendant to stay away from you, your home, your job and your school.
- Orders the defendant to move out of the shared residence.
- May order the defendant to surrender their weapons and makes them ineligible to purchase more.
- Orders the defendant not to abuse or neglect any household animals.
- Can be tailored to order anything reasonably necessary for your protection.
You are not required to have a lawyer to apply for an order of protection, but an attorney can help you through the process. It’s crucial to have someone on your side who believes you and will fight for your protection.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in a typical year 1.3 million women and 835,000 men suffer domestic violence by a partner. This year, many government agencies and support organizations around the country have reported substantially higher hotline calls. They’re expecting this trend to continue into the winter.
If you are involved in a divorce, it is possible that your divorcing spouse will become stressed or angry and ultimately violent. Yet some victims don’t tell their lawyers about what they are experiencing. People sometimes feel hesitant or even ashamed to share this information. Sometimes, they feel they will not be believed.
In a toxic relationship, the stakes are high. Don’t be an emotional hostage anymore. Talk to a lawyer about getting an order of protection.