There may be a time where you might find yourself in a situation that is just too much to handle on your own. When the circumstances involve your safety or the safety of your loved ones, it might be time to look into obtaining a restraining order. While this sometimes can seem official and even scary, it is better to know that you have backup should you ever find yourself in the position of needing it.
First off, what is a restraining order? This is a specific order put in place by a judge in order to protect any victims of various kinds of abuse. There are different types of restraining orders and each one will be customized by the judge to fit your individual needs. This is why it is imperative that you give full disclosure to the judge of the situation at hand. Many times, even though someone is being harassed or even abused, they still do not want to cause problems for their ex, especially if there are children involved. After all, this is still your kid’s daddy, but for the sake of your children, you have to recognize when someone is out of control and potentially harmful to you or your children. Abuse doesn’t happen overnight; it is usually developed over a period of time where someone continues to push the boundaries with their victims and is not able to restrain themselves. Someone who is physically or emotionally harmful to another human being, especially people that they love is someone who needs serious help. This is not a situation that you ignore and where a restraining order can become very handy. If you have allowed the abuser to consistently cross the boundaries that you set, they will not take you seriously when you have decided that you have had enough. When there is a restraining order in place, the judge is setting the boundaries and you will have the police as backup if the abuser decides to cross those boundaries. The judge can restrict whatever he or she wants which includes, physical contact, phone contact, location restrictions such as work, gym, schools etc. They can remove the abuser from the home, even if the home is in the abuser’s name. They will do what is necessary to protect you.
One time I was with a friend who had a restraining order against her husband because of domestic violence and when we had just pulled into her driveway, he came out of nowhere and grabbed her by the hair and was trying to pull her out of the car. She rolled up the window which caught his arm and yelled at me to call 911. I ran into the house and because he knew that I was calling the police and there was a restraining order, he eventually let go after repeatedly banging her head against the steering wheel and fled the scene. She told me later after the police arrived that she knew if he was able to drag her out of the car, she probably would be dead. They picked him up later and he was put in jail for violating the restraining order which meant she could at least sleep in peace that night.
No one ever expects to be in this kind of circumstance but it’s nice to know that there are legal resources available if needed. Don’t try to ‘tough it out’ alone and live in fear. Even though abusers may be someone that you love, they are not well and you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Do what is necessary if you are in a dangerous environment and look into getting a restraining order. Don’t wait until it is too late.
If you want to read more go to AboutTheChildren.org