Trigger Warning: This blog article discusses domestic violence.
If you have experienced domestic violence, your primary concern is your safety and that of your children and family members. An order of protection is a court order issued in a New York domestic violence case. This order can provide you with the security and protection you need.
You Are Not Alone
One out of every three women and one out of every four men have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner. Domestic violence is not just physical violence but includes emotional or sexual abuse or control, mental abuse or control, and financial abuse or control.
What is Domestic Violence?
Under New York law, domestic violence includes:
- Sexual misconduct
New York does not have specific domestic violence crimes. Instead, any crime victimizing an intimate partner can be charged as domestic violence.
Intimate partners include:
- Extended family and relatives
- Former spouses
- People who are dating
- People who are living together, romantically or not
- People who used to date
What Is an Order of Protection?
An order of protection is a court order issued by a family or criminal court specifically prohibiting certain conduct and actions when the court finds that domestic violence has occurred.
The order can direct the abuser to stay away from the complainant. This means staying away from:
- Places they frequent often
- Their home
- Their school
- Their workplace
The order can state that the abuser must completely stay away from these places, or it can detail a specific distance the abuser must maintain at all times. The order can also direct the abuser to stay away from the complainant’s children and family. This provision is created to keep the parties from having any physical contact to provide the complainant with physical safety.
The order can include a variety of other provisions as well, such as:
- No-contact. The order can state that the abuser is not permitted any contact with the complainant, such as texts, calls, emails, gifts, and other communications. This is usually in combination with a physical stay away order and protects the complainant from having any contact with the abuser.
- Firearms. The abuser can be directed to give up their firearms and firearms license.
- Custody. If the two parties share children, the order can lay out a custody and visitation plan.
- Child support. If the parties have children together, the order can require child support payments.
- Exclusive occupancy. If the parties share a residence, the order can direct that only one party may continue to reside there.
- Refrain from acts. The abuser can be directed to refrain from committing crimes against the complainant, and from behavior such as denigration.
Violation of Order of Protection
An order of protection is an enforceable court order. If your abuser violates your order of protection and does not stay away from you as directed, you should contact 911 and inform them of the existing order and the behavior that violated it. Violation of an order of protection is a serious matter punishable by up to seven years in jail in New York.
What to Do If You Experience Domestic Violence
If you are in immediate danger, call 911. The New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 can provide assistance and information about finding a domestic violence shelter near you. You always have the right to an attorney. Our attorneys at Bikel Rosenthal & Schanfield also have experience with domestic violence cases and are ready to ensure your protection.