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What is an order of protection?

We all need to feel safe. Unfortunately, some individuals in New York and elsewhere are harmed or feel threatened by a partner in a romantic relationship. Domestic abuse is a serious safety issue, and when a partner or spouse feels that his or her safety is at risk, it is important to take steps to ensure that safety is regained and one no longer has to fear harm or threats of harm. Filing for a protection order may be in the best interests of a person harmed by domestic abuse.

What is an order of protection? The court, as a means to limit the behavior of a person believed to have harmed or threatened another person, can issue a protective order. This order can specifically direct the offending person to not injure, threaten or harass the individual filing the order, his or her family and anyone else listed in the order.

A protective order can dictate what the offending person can and cannot do. This often includes stipulations such as staying away from the person filing as well as any children involved, to move out of the home, follow any existing custody orders, pay child support and to not have any guns.

If an order for protection has been established and it is violated, it is possible to take action. It is considered a crime to violate either a temporary or final order of protection. If the subject of the order in place is not obeying the terms of the order, law enforcement can be contacted. This likely will result in the arrest of the individual for violating the order. It is also possible to file a violation of the order in family court. This typically does not result in the person's arrest.

Dealing with a domestic abuse situation is never easy. It can be challenging to understand what is best for you and others in the matter. Thus, it is important to take the time to become informed. This will not only help protect your rights and interests but will also help ensure you are safe.

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