Short of having the abuser arrested and prosecuted, the most immediate relief you can obtain by yourself is a restraining order issued by the Family Law court. Restraining orders can provide you protection against an abuser by ordering them not to come within 100 yards or more of you, your children, your workplace, your vehicle, your school, or any other place the court feels you could be harassed or threatened.
Sole legal custody of the children is often awarded to the victim with no visits, or only supervised visits, granted to the abuser. These orders can also compel the abuser to leave the family home with only his personal belongings, to provide a vehicle or support to the victim, to turn in or sell any firearms, and to attend anger management counseling.
A restraining order can be obtained by individuals by themselves, or by contacting an attorney who is familiar with the domestic violence division of the local Superior Court. An experienced attorney can quickly and effectively obtain a protection order for you, oftentimes by the same or next day. These orders, although only a “piece of paper”, compel most abusers to stay away, and provide a period of respite for the victim, a time when they can organize their thoughts, their lives and their future plans, without interference from an abusive, controlling, and even dangerous, partner.
Although Restraining Orders can be obtained in pro-per, there are downsides to representing yourself in the quest of permanent orders in these type cases. The first and foremost reason for a victim to seek the services of an attorney in abuse cases is because victims are RARELY ever able to confront their abuser in court in a coherent and effective manner. Their conditioning to allow the abuser to control, coupled with the ironic phenomenon of the appearance of “strength” and “powerfulness” in the victim while testifying in court by themselves against the abuser, (if they are even able to do so) is a recipe for disaster if the judicial officer misinterprets the victims true needs.
An attorney experienced in domestic violence cases can be a lifesaver for a true victim. They can make the difference between a victim escaping abuse permanently, or merely making another half-hearted, ineffective, attempt to escape abuse by themselves.If you are abused, or know someone who is, contact the Law Office of Debra A. Smith for assistance in this dangerous and turbulent field. We are careful, we will represent victims carefully and comprehensively, guiding them to an outcome wherein they will have a new life, free from fear, free from repression, and free from abuse, from anyone.