Family Restraining Order and What to Know
It’s a shame when a family breaks up for whatever reason, though sometimes that just can’t be avoided. Mom and dad just can’t seem to get along like they did in the first place. Or maybe life’s circumstances and other factors lead one of them to snap, resulting in threatening behavior or outright violence. Sometimes it’s not just mom or dad, but a member of the extended family on either side or maybe mom or dad’s new partner. Whoever that might be, it’s important that the family be given protection from any threat and that’s where the family violence restraining order or family restraining order comes in.
What do you need to know about a family restraining order? Who is it intended for and how can you get it?
A family restraining order is intended for any person who has already committed family violence and is likely to repeat it. It could be for an abusive father or mother. It could be for someone from the extended family on either side such as uncles or aunts. Family restraining orders are also for such persons whose behavior show signs that they might be capable of violence and/or abuse.
The definition and scope of family violence may depend on the territory but in general, it is violence committed, or a threat of violence to any member of the family by a member of the family. Family violence also includes behavior or actions that constitute a threat to the family, whereby the person coerces or controls any family member as well as causing family members to be fearful of that person.
The following lists what would be considered as family violence and cause to acquire a family restraining order. Often the subject exhibits one or more of the following:
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Repeated derogatory or abusive remarks
- Destruction or damage to property
- Causing death or injury to animals or pets
- Stalking or cyber-stalking
- Keeping a family member from being in contact with their respective extended families, friends and culture
- Exposing children to family violence
- Publishing, posting or distributing intimate images of the family member or threatening to do so
- Unreasonably denying financial autonomy to a family member which he/she could have acquired
- Unreasonably withholding financial support to cover costs of living
The list could increase or decrease depending on the state or county’s laws that cover family violence.
How can one get a family restraining order?
If you or a member of your family has been attacked or threatened, the first step would be to go to the police and acquire an offence report number or something equivalent. On special cases, the police can acquire the family restraining order for you if you don’t know how, if the threat is immediate or if you are physically or mentally incapable of doing so.
Depending on the situation, family restraining orders can be short-term or can last for a lifetime for extreme cases and there is no fee involved in acquiring the restraining order.
Once the restraining order is processed, the subject or respondent will be prohibited from purchasing any firearms and the plaintiff should notify the authorities if the subject already has access to firearms. And lastly, breaching the family restraint order will be subject to a prison term even if the complainant grants consent while the order is in effect.