An individual who has been subjected to physical violence, sexual assault, psychological abuse, harassment or stalking should consider obtaining a domestic violence restraining order. The process that is involved with obtaining domestic violence restraining orders may vary a great deal from state to state. However, there are some procedures that will remain the same no matter what state the petitioner lives in.
If an individual feels that they are in immediate harm from their abuser, they should contact their local law enforcement agency right away. Once they have been relocated to a safe environment, the victim should begin the process of filing for a domestic violence restraining order. Individuals who are considering petitioning for domestic violence restraining orders can receive information about this process by contacting a domestic violence organization, a battered women’s shelter, or the local law enforcement agency. First, an individual will be required to file a complaint against the offender at their local courthouse. This will require completing paperwork that will provide the court will contact information for both the victim and the offender.
An individual who is filing for a domestic violence restraining order will be required to detail the events that have caused them to seek legal protection. They should write an intricate report describing the incidents in which their abuser subjected them to domestic abuse. This may include behavior such as pushing, beating, and threatening. It may also include stalking and harassment. A person should note any behavior that has caused the victim to feel unsafe and at risk for harm should be cited. Individuals who are seeking to obtain domestic violence restraining orders should provide the court with evidence of the abuse. This may include images of the physical wounds that the victim sustained as a result of violence.
If an individual has previously filed complaints or incident reports with their local law enforcement agencies, then they should provide the court with copies of these documents. If the victim has written threatening e-mails, print them out and provide them as evidence. This evidence will help to convince the judge that the perpetrator is dangerous and that he/she may possess the ability to psychologically or physically harm the victim.
After the paper work is completed and the evidence if presented to the court, the judge will review all of the relevant information and determine whether or not the victim is in need of a domestic violence restraining order. If the judge feels that there is reasonable evidence that the victim is in danger, then the judge will authorize a temporary domestic violence restraining order.
These domestic violence restraining orders are temporary and only last for about ten days. The order will be delivered to the perpetrators home in order to inform them of the court’s decision. A hearing date will be set which both the the offender and the petitioner will be required to attend. At this hearing, the duration of domestic violence restraining orders can be lengthened, sometimes up to two years. If an individual feels that they are in danger of being harmed by another individual, they should seriously consider filing for a restraining order.