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Sometimes relationships are volatile and involve threatening behavior that necessitates quick action to protect an individual from their partner. In cases involving restraining and protection orders you need quick, compassionate, and dedicated representation to ensure your rights are protected. We’re here to advocate for you throughout this often fast-paced process.
Survivors of domestic violence have several civil and criminal protection or restraining order options to protect themselves from further abuse. These orders don't stop an abuser from stalking or hurting a victim, but they do permit the victim to call the police and have the abuser arrested if they break the order.
Emergency Protection Order
In many states, when the police encounter a domestic violence situation one of the two parties involved in the dispute is required or requested to leave the home. Often, this person is the abuser, although the police can be mistaken about who the aggressor is. In about one-third of states, police officers are also authorized or required to remove guns when they arrive at the scene of a domestic violence incident.
In some states, the police can give the victim (or person believed to be the victim) an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). An EPO is a short-term protection order typically given to a victim by the police or magistrate when his or her abuser is arrested for domestic violence. The EPO s generally for limited period, such as three or seven days. This permits the victim time with an EPO in place to request a longer-term protection order.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia havestatutes for some form of protection order. However, states call this protection order different things. For example, Illinois, New York and Texas call them protection orders or orders of protection, whereas California calls the same thing a restraining order, and Florida calls it an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
A protection order is different from an EPO because it is longer term, typically for one to five years, and in extreme circumstances, for up to a lifetime. A victim can renew the protection order, if he or she still feels threatened by his or her abuser.
A protection order may include many different provisions, including:
- No Contact Provision: Prohibiting the abuser from calling, texting, emailing, stalking, attacking, hitting, or disturbing the victim
- Peaceful Contact Provision: Permitting the abuser to peacefully communicate with the victim for limited reasons, including care and transfer for visitation of their child
- Stay Away Provision: Ordering the abuser to stay at least a certain number of yards or feet away from the victim, his or her home, job, school, and car. The stay-away distance can vary by state, judge or the lethality of the situation, but is often at least 100 yards or 300 feet
- Move Out Provision: Requiring the abuser to move out of a home shared with the victim
- Firearms Provision: Requiring the abuser to surrender any guns he or she possesses (about 2/3rds of states) and/or prohibiting the abuser from purchasing a firearm
- Counseling Provision: Ordering the abuser to attend counseling, such as batterer's intervention or anger management
Protection orders may include children, other family members, roommates, or current romantic partners of the victim. This means the same no contact and stay away rules apply to the other listed individuals, even if the direct harm was to the victim. Some states allow pets to be protected by the same order, as abusers may harm pets to torment their victims.