In only one year, the state of Texas identified 212,885 victims of domestic violence. Some of those victims lost their lives due to violence inflicted by family members or supposed loved ones, and others likely experienced physical and emotional trauma they will never forget.
Orders of protection were created to help victims in situations just like these. However, before you file for a protective order, it is important to understand what kind of situations qualify and how the order could be used to offer real protection.
Emergency protective order
This type of protective order is used to establish immediate security from an abuser when an incident of violence occurs. In Texas, the police have the authority to issue an emergency family law protective order. However, in some states, you must request one from a judge. Emergency protective orders are typically only in effect for a few days.
Long-term orders of protection
A traditional order of protection can last up to five years and defines what type of contact results in a violation of the order. For example, an order or protection could prevent the abuser from contacting the victim under any circumstance, or the order could allow for certain types of contact. The order will also define what contact means. It may state that an abuser may not call, email or physically come within so many feet of the victim for a certain period of time.
Some states also refer to orders of protection as restraining orders. Restraining orders can be used in instances of family disputes and with other types of legal cases.
Obtaining a protective order that will offer real protection can be tricky. It will be important to have documentation ready to prove there is a serious threat to your safety.