October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Missouri: Protection Orders

By October 21, 2010Family Law

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Family Law on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Although pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness dominate in the month of October, it is important to remember that it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a very serious issue that plagues many relationships in St. Louis, Missouri. If a partner in a relationship with another has been or is currently being abused, they can ask the court for an order of protection. An order of protection is a civil court order filed by a victim of abuse. The victim and the alleged perpetrator appear before a judge who then hears the allegations and determines whether or not an order of protection should be granted. The order forces both individuals to keep a certain distance not just physically but also through technological communication such as telephone, e-mail or even third party contact. “You can’t use (the protection order) as a weapon,” one court judge told the victim of abuse. “It is protection. It works more like a shield, not a sword.” The court judge reminded the victim that both parties could violate the order. The order is supposed to protect the victim from abuse, but it does not work when the victim voluntarily makes contact with the offender. The judge pointed out that it is not uncommon for female victims of abuse to seek an order of protection and then remain in contact with the men from which they sought protection. Protection orders are as effective as the victim wants them to be, the court judge said. The order is simply a piece of paper that cannot guarantee protection, and the victim needs to call the police if the offender makes contact with them. Victims should seek a variety of available sources including counseling about abusive relationships. Source: MontgomerAdvertiser.com “Proper restraint: Protection orders ‘a shield, not a sword‘ Scott Johnson 10/19/10