People who want to get a protective or restraining order often worry that either order will not work. After all, how can a simple piece of paper or two actually guarantee your safety?
They can't -- but that doesn't mean that getting an order won't help, though. The threat of going to jail or facing a judge is enough to keep many people from violating court orders. In family law matters, knowing that violating the order could threaten custody rights could also make a parent listen to the order carefully.
Most protective orders state that the assailant cannot be near the victim. They usually have to avoid all contact and surrender firearms in some instances. Regardless, domestic violence protective orders have some problems, despite being helpful in the majority of cases.
One such problem is that the order only lasts a short time. Initially, the order is temporary. It may be extended to a year and even longer, but only if the victim seeks the extension. Once the order expires, the other party can again get in contact with the victim.
Another issue is that people don't always follow court orders. Yes, they will face serious legal trouble and could be imprisoned or fined, but that doesn't always matter to them. The protective order and restraining order are both powerful tools, but only if they can be enforced. This is why it's important to keep the police informed and to continue advocating for your protection in court.
Our site has more on domestic violence and restraining orders; If you are in danger, we may be able to offer the help you need to escape violence.