Domestic violence is not what most of us thought about while looking forward to this past holiday season. The holiday season and the new year is seen by many as a time of unity and love. But not for everyone. There are those who, spurned and alone, are strangers to the warmth that envelopes so many homes. Feelings of resentment, anger, and vengefulness can bubble up during the holiday season more than at any other time of year. In families, these feelings sometimes lead to violence. If you were on the receiving end of domestic violence this past holiday season, could it happen again? You may want to seek legal advice as to how to protect yourself.
Threats Turned to Domestic Violence in California
Sadly, far too often feelings of desperation can lead to deranged behavior that impacts innocent individuals, households, and entire communities:
Three children were killed in front of their mother in September of 2017 in what authorities called a tragic domestic violence incident;
In November of 2017, a gunman killed five and injured ten others in a rampage that occurred after threats toward at least one of the victims.
When You Require Legal Help
If you have been threatened, harassed or stalked, you may need a legal intervention to keep you safe. Remember, violence can occur in many ways:
- Physical harm due to reckless or intentional behavior;
- Sexual assault;
- Inciting fear with irrational behavior, threats, bullying, or stalking;
- Destruction of property.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
If a romance or marriage ended badly, and threats are mounting, you may need to file a domestic violence restraining order. This is appropriate when it involves close family members, as well. For other relationships that were not as close, such as neighbors or former friends, a civil harassment restraining order may be necessary. Adult dependents and persons aged 65 and above may file an elder or dependent abuse restraining order. Finally, if you are being harassed or stalked at work, you may require a workplace restraining order. Initially, you will apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO) which generally lasts for a couple of weeks, when a hearing will be held to determine whether there is merit in applying a full restraining order.
Expectations of a Restraining Order
Any restraining order requires the person for whom the order was issued to refrain from contacting you or other members of your household. That means:
- No calls, texts, emails or visits;
- No stalking at work or school;
- No gun possession.
Any violations of the order could result in fines and/or incarceration. Continue reading →