What Can I Do If My Spouse Has Gotten Physically Abusive?
Having a stressful home life can be mentally and physically exhausting. Everyone deserves to have a safe place where they can feel comfortable, heard, and supported. Unfortunately, in the United States, nearly 20 people experience physical abuse per minute. If you are in a similar situation at home that entails abuse of any kind, you are not alone, and you can get help.
Immediate Steps to Take If You Are Facing Domestic Violence
If you are facing domestic violence in California, you should take the following steps:
- Get to a safe place. If possible, leave the home and go to a friend’s or family member’s house, a domestic violence shelter, or a safe place.
- Call the police. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
- Get a restraining order. You can go to court and ask for a restraining order, also known as a “domestic violence protective order.” It can order the abuser to stay away from you, your home, and your workplace.
- Seek medical attention. If you have been injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Seek support. Contact a local domestic violence organization for support and resources, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner. Domestic violence can take many forms, including:
- Physical violence
- Sexual violence
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Domestic violence can occur in any type of intimate relationship, including:
- Married couples
- Domestic partners
- Dating couples
- Same-sex couples
It can also occur between family members, such as parents and children or siblings. Domestic violence is a serious crime. It is important for victims to seek help and support to escape the abuse and protect themselves.
How to File a Restraining Order in California
To file a restraining order in California, you need to follow these steps:
- Go to the court. You can go to the courthouse in the county where you live or where the abuse took place. There will be a clerk or self-help center available to assist you in filling out the necessary forms.
- Fill out the forms. You will need to fill out a form called a “Request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.” You can also get help with this from the clerk or self-help center.
- File the forms. After you have filled out the forms, you will need to file them with the court.
- Attend a hearing. The court will set a hearing date, and you will need to attend the hearing to get the restraining order. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain to the judge why you need the restraining order.
- Serve the restrained person. The restrained person must be served with the restraining order. You can have the police serve the order, or you can have someone else who is 18 or older do it for you.
It is important to seek help and support from a local domestic violence organization during the process of obtaining a restraining order. These can include:
- Nearby women’s shelters
- Domestic violence programs
- Witness assistance programs
- Counseling services
Q: How long does it take to get a restraining order in California?
A: In California, your court hearing date is usually within 21 days of filing the forms. Then, the restrained person must be served with the restraining order, which usually takes a few days to a week. In some cases, a temporary restraining order (TRO) can be obtained more quickly if you can show that there is an immediate need for protection. A TRO can be granted without a hearing, and it is typically valid for a short period of time, such as 21 days, until a full hearing can be held.
Q: What proof do you need for a restraining order in California?
A: In California, you will need to provide evidence to support your request for a restraining order. The specific evidence required will depend on the type of abuse that you have experienced. If you have been the victim of physical violence, you may want to provide evidence such as photographs of injuries, medical records, or police reports. If you have received threats of violence, you may want to provide evidence such as text messages, emails, or voicemails that contain the threats.
Q: How much does it cost to put a restraining order on someone in California?
A: In California, there is no fee to file for a domestic violence restraining order. This means that you do not have to pay to file the forms or attend the hearing. However, there may be other costs associated with obtaining a restraining order. These can include the cost of photocopying documents or hiring an attorney.
Q: What is an emergency protective order?
A: An emergency protective order (EPO) is a type of restraining order. It can be obtained quickly in emergency situations in which a person is in immediate danger of harm. In California, an EPO can be issued by a police officer or a judge on a 24/7 basis, including weekends and holidays. An EPO is usually issued when a person calls the police to report domestic violence or when the police respond to a domestic violence call. The EPO can last for up to seven days. It can include conditions such as staying away from the victim, surrendering firearms, and not contacting the victim.
Trusted Family Lawyers That You Can Lean On
Our experienced and understanding attorneys at Bickford Blado & Botros can help you with the process of obtaining a restraining order. Our services include preparing the necessary paperwork, representing you in court, and advocating for your rights and safety. If you need to address related family law issues, such as divorce, custody, or support, our firm can represent you in family court and help protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to learn about how we can advocate for your safety and well-being and help you make informed decisions about your case.
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