Call 911 immediately if you’re in danger now or think you may need help soon.
Protecting Your Family
To find a shelter, you can call 911, if you need help now, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Yes. If someone has hurt you or your child (or has tried or threatened to do so) you can ask the court for a special order that will protect you. It’s called a restraining order.
To get a restraining order, you must fill out and file court forms that tell the court about your situation, and go to court.
A domestic-violence restraining order can work to protect you from someone who is abusing, stalking, or hurting you.
The temporary restraining order (TRO) only lasts until your hearing (usually two or three weeks). If you want your order to last longer, you must go to your hearing and ask the court to make the order last longer.
The judge can make orders that last for up to five years.
Yes. There are many different kinds of orders you can ask for.
Yes. If you are 12 or older, you can ask for a domestic-violence restraining order. You do not have to ask an adult to do it for you, though it may be helpful.
Maybe. If you ask the court for a free lawyer, you may get one.
The law says both legal parents have equal rights to custody of their child. But if you do not have a court order, you cannot make the other parent give the child back, unless the child is not safe.
It depends. (more…)
Above all, the court wants children to be safe. If you can show that your child may not be safe with the other parent, the court will probably not give custody to that parent.
Supervised visitation is when another adult stays with the child and parent when they visit to make sure the child is safe. If you are worried about the child’s safety, you can ask the court for supervised visitation.
Call the police.
It can be a crime to hide a child from the other parent, especially if you have a current custody or visitation order.
If you are in danger now, call the police and ask for help. They will be able to help you get an Emergency Protective Order (EPO).