Restraining Order No Good Unless You Enforce It
Victims of domestic violence or stalking often apply for and get a restraining order against their harassers. Ask Brooke Mueller. She’s got a temporary restraining order against ex Charlie Sheen. Sometimes that’s enough to stop the abuse. Here’s what to do if it’s not.
- Retraining order just a starting point for relief from abuse, harassment
- You must complain of violations to put teeth in the order
- Family, domestic violence support groups can help you stand up to abuser
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Some Victims Afraid of Physical, Financial Revenge
A restraining order is a court order telling a person to stop having contact with another person. If the harasser violates the order, the harasser can be arrested and charged with that and other offenses. Here’s the thing: the victim must notify police or the court of the violation.
A restraining order is just a piece of paper. It’s not likely the police or anyone besides the victim will see it’s enforced. And many victims, even though they got the order in the first place, are reluctant to complain of violations.
Victims may be scared of retribution. They may have financial ties, like domestic support, to their abusers, and worry a complaint will jeopardize the support. Safety must take priority. Finding financial assistance is a small problem compared to great bodily harm, or even death. Support groups like the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you through a difficult decision.
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