What Does a Restraining Order Accomplish for the Victim?

Domestic violence is often not just physical. For victims, it can affect all aspects of life, particularly mental health. Often times, it can feel as though there are no options to become truly safe from the abuser. In those cases, it is often the best advice to seek help from authorities and pursue a restraining order. But what exactly does a restraining order do for the victim? A judge can sign an Order of Protection to require the abuser to obey court orders. However, a victim should thoroughly understand what the court orders will entail.

What an Abuser Can or Cannot Do

After an Order of Protection is served, there are a few things the abuser is able and unable to do.

  • In most cases, the abuser will be ordered to have no contact with the victim. This includes at places of work, in person, by phone, and often not in any other place. The order typically covers other people in the family of the victim.
  • Judges have the option to order the abuser receives some type of counseling aimed at domestic violence to be evaluated. In cases where alcohol was part of the problem, they may be ordered to attend AA or AlAnon. The victim may agree to go to a similar program but the order should only be for the abuser.
  • Depending on the state, a court may also order the abuser to pay for costs that came as a result of the abuse. This could include household bills that are immediately due, medical treatment, loss of wages, and even moving expenses. Attorney fees may also be the responsibility of the abuser. Those who helped the victim or were also harmed may also be eligible for compensation from the abuser.
  • There are few cases where custody of minor children won’t be awarded to the victim. Depending on the state, the abuser may also have to pay for child support and support to the victim. Depending on circumstances, the abuser may also be granted visitation with the children but with strict circumstances. However, if the victim believes the children are at risk of abuse, they should inform the judge and with reasons for that belief.
  • When the abuser still has personal items from the residence or a shared workplace, the court can order a police escort for the abuser to protect the victim during.
  • Even if the apartment or other residence is in the abuser’s name, a court can order they leave following abuse.
  • The judge also has the ability to grant other protections for the victim under law, should the victim need it and agree to it.

The law is in favor of the victim in these circumstances. Having the right legal counsel can help, especially when there are outside of the box protections needed. Contact our team today to find out how we can help.