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Protection Orders Are Not One-Size-Fits-All


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In a perfect world, everyone gets along with each other. In the real world, that isn’t always the case. People disagree regularly. Family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, even total strangers can argue with each other. Most of the time, these disagreements are harmless—a verbal spat, maybe an obscene gesture, and then the argument is over. But what happens when another person’s behavior does not stop, but instead continues frequently, even becomes violent, and such behavior begins to impact your health, safety, and wellbeing? You may be able to seek a court order directing that person to stop his or her behavior and stay away from you. An injunction, commonly referred to as a restraining order, is just that.

Injunctions are not one-size-fits-all; rather, there are five different types of injunctions, each addressing different needs:

  1. Domestic Violence– protects against acts of violence committed by a family member, including sexual violence.
  1. Repeat Violence– protects against acts of violence committed by someone who is not a family member. In order to obtain a repeat violence injunction, it must be proven that the aggressor has committed at least two incidents of violence, and at least one of those incidents must have occurred within the last six (6) months.
  2. Dating Violence– protects against violence committed by a relationship partner. In order to qualify for a dating violence injunction, the relationship must exist for at least six (6) months, and both parties must have frequent, continuous contact and mutual affection.
  3. Sexual Violence– protects against sexual violence when the aggressor is not a family member.
  4. Stalking– protects against being followed, harassed, or cyberstalked. These are much more difficult to prove, as the person requesting the injunction must establish a pattern of conduct, directed at him or her, that has caused physical or emotional harm to that person.

If a person is repeatedly causing you harm, whether physical or emotional, you may be able to request relief from the court in the form of an injunction. Before filing, you may want to discuss your case with an experienced attorney to determine what your options are. If you are looking for an attorney to assist you through the process, please call The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A., to schedule a consultation.