A Guide to Restraining Orders

A Guide to Restraining Orders

by Amanda Kippert and Stephanie Thurrott, DomesticShelters.Org:

Many survivors of domestic violence choose to get a restraining order, or order of protection, against the person who is or was abusing them. While some may think it’s “just a piece of paper,” this legal document can actually be the key to sending an abuser a clear message to stay away, helping a survivor and their children get to safety, and resulting in criminal charges if not obeyed.

What Does a Restraining Order Do?

If you feel you are in danger, you can request a temporary PPO. “You give the judge or magistrate enough information to warrant immediate emergency protection,” says Robin M. Lalley, a family law attorney with Sodoma Law, based in Charlotte, NC.

A temporary protection order typically lasts for a short period, generally ten days. That gives you and the other person time to prepare for follow-up hearings where you can request a permanent protection order, which can last for a year or more.

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