At the Law Offices of Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C., we vigorously protect victims of domestic abuse. Your safety is our top priority, and we will pursue every legal avenue to ensure you and your children are free from the threat of domestic violence and abuse.
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:
- Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you
- Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools
- Move out of your house (even if you live together)
- Not have a gun
- Follow child custody and visitation orders
- Pay child support
- Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners)
- Stay away from any of your pets
- Pay certain bills
- Not make any changes to insurance policies
- Not incur large expenses or do anything significant regarding your property if you are married or domestic partners
- Release or return certain property.
- Emergency Protective Order
A type of restraining order that starts right away and lasts up to one week, allowing the victim enough time away from the abuser to file a longer-lasting type of restraining order. This type of order can only be obtained by having a law enforcement official (typically responding to a domestic violence call or other instance of abuse) call a judge.
- Temporary Restraining Order
A type of restraining order that lasts until the court hearing date, typically between 20 and 25 days. This order is obtained by going to the court and filling out paperwork to inform the judge of the situation.
- Permanent Restraining Order
A type of restraining order that lasts up to three years. A judge can issue this type of order during your temporary restraining order hearing, and the order can be re-issued after three years if you are still in need of protection.
- Criminal Protective Order
If criminal charges are filed against the abuser, the criminal court will often issue a criminal protective order against the abuser for the duration of the case. If he or she is found guilty, the order lasts for three years after the conclusion of the case.
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.
When you want sound, authoritative legal advice and effective and zealous representation to help protect your interests, the Law Office of Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. is ready to help.