As the leading cause of injury to U.S. women between the ages of 14 and 45, domestic violence is a troubling problem nationwide. According to a U.S. Department of Justice study of domestic violence, domestic assault accounts for more than 20 percent of all violent crime. The majority of domestic violence incidents occur against women (76 percent), and it most commonly comes from a current or former intimate partner.
Domestic violence in and of itself is traumatic and heartbreaking, but even more so when you consider the long-lasting effects of abuse. Children who live in homes plagued by domestic violence are twice as likely to suffer abuse or neglect (30 percent vs. 60 percent). Domestic violence is the third-leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and at least one-third of the families in New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.
Approximately 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during in her lifetime—but the problem is not confined by gender. Nearly 3 million men suffer physical assaults by an intimate partner every year in the U.S., and since the majority of domestic violence incidents go unreported, the true number could be much higher.
A protective order, commonly known as a restraining order, is a court-issued document that works to protect someone from physical abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, threats, or harassment. These orders are a legal way to keep someone from coming within a certain distance of you, force an abuser to move out of a shared home, or keep someone from engaging in certain conduct.
Victims of domestic violence can pursue a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. This specific type of protective order is appropriate if someone you have a “close relationship” with has abused you or threatened to abuse you. (Keep in mind that this abuse does not have to be physical in order to qualify as domestic abuse; verbal abuse and threats also count as domestic violence for the purpose of this protective order.) This “close relationship” requirement applies to people who are married or registered domestic partners; divorced or separated; dating or used to date; living together or used to live together (as more than roommates); parents together of a child; or closely related, such as a parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, or in-law. You can also file a restraining order on behalf of your child if she or she is being abused.
Depending on the circumstances, a restraining order can include a number of different provisions about where the restrained person is allowed to go, what he or she can legally do, and where he or she should live (or, in most cases, not live). A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can order the abuser to:
The Handbook on Family Violence reports that as many as 50-70 percent of men charged with domestic violence also abuse children. The legal advocates of the Law Office of Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. always put the child first when it comes to family law matters, and we can help both you and your children get out of an abusive situation.
If you suspect that your child is being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused, we can help you put a stop to it immediately. We work to ensure that your child’s safety comes first.