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BellaOnline's Domestic Violence Editor

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Obtaining a Restraining Order

Guest Author - Jeanette Stingley

It seems each state has different names for a restraining order and even different categories of restraining orders. There are Temporary Protection Orders (TPO), Protection from Domestic Abuse Orders (PDAO) just to name a few. In some states, a police officer has to request one from the courts for you and in other states, such as Ohio (where I live), you have to go to the court to seek one out for yourself. To begin the process of obtaining some kind of protection with the court system talk to a police officer. In this article, I will describe to you the steps I took in order to obtain my TPO that led to a Domestic Violence Protection Order.

Like I stated above, the first step I took in obtaining legal protection was approaching a police officer. My intention of talking to him was to see how I could get my husband out of our apartment after an extremely violent weekend. I was told that in our state, if his name is on the lease, he has every right to be there but if he was being abusive and I feared for my or my children’s safety, I could go to the courthouse and file a request for domestic violence protection. He told me that if a judge thought we were in immediate danger, I would be granted a protection order and the county sheriff’s department would put him out of the apartment.

I had a friend take me to the courthouse. I was very nervous and questioned myself the whole ride there if this was what I really wanted to do. I was grateful to have a friend push me to do this. The paperwork was tedious. There were 5 or 6 pages I had to fill out and I had to be open, honest, and forthcoming with everything that was happening in order to get the help I needed. There was a section where I had to describe the most recent occurrences of abuse and violence. This was really hard to do because I felt everyone who read this would judge me harshly.

After filling out all the necessary paperwork, showing proof of residency, identification for myself and my children, I was told I could see a magistrate that day in about three hours to have my case heard. I was shocked at this because I thought it would take days for this to happen. I went to tell the magistrate basically what was in the paperwork I filled out. I also recounted several instances of abuse that happened over the course of the years I was with him. Of course, the magistrate asked why I didn’t involve the police. He did bring up the 3 reports on his computer of when I did involve the police. I believed this helped my winning the protection order. It was hard to retell to a total stranger what had been going on behind closed doors for years but I knew I was one step closer to being free from my abuser.

I was granted the protection order and was informed that the county sheriff’s office would be at my house within 24 hours to serve the notice for him to leave. I was warned that I had to carry this protection order with me wherever I went or else if he approached me, he couldn’t be arrested for violating it. I was also told that if I let him back in and something happened, I could also be arrested for violating it.

He was removed the next afternoon when I wasn’t home. He violated it twice by coming back. The second violation landed him 15 days in jail. My children and I have been free ever since and our protection order is good for 5 years.

For more information on obtaining a restraining order in your city, county, or state, contact your local law enforcement agency. They will help you find the information you need to protect yourself and your family.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Jeanette Stingley. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanette Stingley. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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