It is important that anyone, male or female, report abuse to the police immediately. They may be able to find a shelter for you and your children. If a shelter is unavailable, look for housing with a friend or a relative. It is important to get out of a violent relationship before it reaches the fatal stage. Police will arrest one or both parties if it can be determined who the aggressor was. There may be a mandatory cool down period. You may seek a court order to have your spouse (present or former), intimate partner (present or former), or other family member removed from your home and be required to keep a certain physical distance.
Orders of Protection
A domestic violence order of protection is a type of restraining order that is intended to protect victims of domestic violence under the Family Violence Protection Act. To initiate an order of protection, the victim needs to petition the court for a temporary order of protection. If the court grants it, then there will be a hearing within 10 days for the court to determine if the victim should be granted an order of protection. At this time, the other party will have the opportunity to appear before the court. Once the court reviews the case, a new restraining order may be issued with a longer duration. A protective order may even be made permanent if conditions warrant.
Mutual Orders of Protection
You may obtain a mutual order of protection only if both parties have filed reciprocal petitions for orders of protection.
Stipulated Orders of Protection
The parties may agree to a stipulated order of protection without having a hearing to determine if there was an act of domestic abuse. The advantage of a stipulated order of protection is that it still allows the victim all of the benefits of an order of protection, but it does not require a finding of abuse. The stipulated order of protection can be beneficial to the victim and the restrained party.