Domestic abuse or domestic violence has been estimated to affect numerous people across the world. If you have been a victim or are experiencing domestic violence, it is crucial to seek legal protection and to get an injunction is one of them. This is especially true if you are or are planning to initiate a divorce or post modification.
What is Domestic Violence?
First of all, it is essential to get to know what domestic violence is. It primarily includes kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, battery, aggravated battery, or other criminal offenses that lead to death or physical injury either to petitioner or petitioner’s household or family members who live in the same housing unit.
This may include actions like:
- Destroying the personal property of a petitioner
- Purposely killing or injuring the pet of the petitioner
- Threatening to harm, kidnap, or conceal the petitioner’s child or children
- Other frightening or threatening acts
Understanding the Injunction
Sometimes called restraining order, the injunction is a court order that aims in helping individuals to protect them against acts of violence or threats by another person.
It is a “stay away” order made by the court to prevent abusers from enthralling them to do things or doing certain things, such as making a contact with the victim.
Types of Injunctions
There are 4 basic types of injunctions and restraining orders that most states issue:
- Dating Violence Injunction/Restraining Order – available to protect individuals who have a “continuing and significant relationship of an intimate or romantic nature” from violence.
- Sexual Violence Injunction/Restraining Order – involves certain criminal sexual acts.
- Repeat Violence Injunction/Restraining Order – occurs where there are two incidents of stalking or violence.
- Stalking Violence Injunction/Restraining Order – available to protect individuals from harassment, cyberstalking, physical stalking, and other related acts.
Who is Affected by Domestic Violence?
All domestic violence is almost directed by men against women. However, it does and can also take place in a same-sex relationship or by women against men.
Majority of cases, though, indicates that domestic violence nearly affects women from all backgrounds and ages, irrespective of sexuality, social or economic status, religion, race, or immigration status.
If you believe you are in reasonable, imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence or someone who has already been a victim of domestic violence by a household or family member, filing for an injunction can be granted.
How to Apply for Injunction?
You can apply for a domestic violence injunction at the family court. There is usually no fee involved. Having an attorney is not required but can be helpful for such an emotional and stressful venture. Along with your lawyer, you have to prepare a witness statement which gives precise details of your relationship, past history violence, any relevant children, or events which forced you to make the application.
You will need to attend at least one and potentially more court hearings. If there is an emergency or you are scared that your abuser will cause more harm because they are aware of the injunction, it is possible to make an application without notice to your abuser.
What if the Injunction is Not Followed or Ignored by Your Abuser? Or Violated?
An injunction violation is a first-degree misdemeanor. It carries severe consequences, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail and up to $1,000.00 in fines. But, if it is a repeat violation, more severe charges may occur. Some of which can be considered felonies and can lead to state imprisonment.
When you are experiencing domestic violence, take immediate action. Know your rights as a person. In a case like an injunction or restraining order, it is difficult to overlook the importance of having the right family lawyer. They have a lot of experience in handling such cases and can help ensure that you make use of all possible legal ways for your defense.