Why Orders Of Protection Can Be Helpful

While an Order of Protection cannot guarantee your safety, it can help in several ways:

  • Police are likely to take your calls more seriously if you have an Order of Protection.

  • An abuser can be arrested and put in jail if he violates an Order of Protection.

  • If an abuser is convicted of violating an Order of Protection and has violated one in the past, even against a different victim, he can be charged with Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, a felony.

  • If an abuser violates an Order of Protection by causing physical injury or property damage over $250, lie can be charged with a felony.

  • If you have left your home, an Order of Protection can make it easier for you to get the police to go with you to get your personal belongings; and

  • If you are being stalked or harassed at work, an Order of Protection can protect you at your job.

Specifically, both Criminal and Family Court Orders of Protection can:

  • Direct the abuser to stop the abusive behavior toward both you and your children;

  • Tell the abuser to leave and stay away from your home, your job, and your family;

  • Direct the abuser to have no contact with you meaning no phone calls, letters or messages through other people;

  • Order the abuser to stay away from the children, their baby-sitter, day care or schools.

Family Court Orders can also do other things.

See Getting the Evidence Together.

Orders of Protection can be helpful, but do not guarantee that your partner will stop being violent. Some abusers choose not to obey them and they have to be enforced. You may have to call police for help and you may have to go back to court. This should not discourage you from using the law to help make you safe. Know your rights. You are the best judge of whether gaffing an Order of Protection will be helpful in your situation. Members of battered women's support groups and domestic violence advocates can help you decide whether gaffing an Order of Protection is a good strategy for you. Your local domestic violence program can also provide help and information if you need assistance in getting an Order of Protection or in having an existing Order enforced.

See Enforcing an Order of Protection.

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