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Restraining orders are safety protection, not just flimsy paper

Some women in Louisiana that are suffering at the hands of an abusive partner feel that a restraining order will do nothing to protect them. One woman that decided not to get a restraining order against an abusive boyfriend says, “It’s just a piece of paper. At the end of the day, your sense of security is null and void.”

But this is not true. A restraining order is not just a meaningless piece of paper feigning safety; it is a judicial authority barring an abuser from contacting a victim with a court order.

The woman that feels restraining orders are ineffectual is likely skeptical of the level of protection due to horror stories in which women that file for protection are confronted to devastating ends by the abuser that they are trying to flee. However, studies show that these events are not the norm but rather very tragic exceptions.

A university study found that many women do not return to court after filing a temporary restraining order to establish a long-term protective order, but when the victim does do this, the protection is effective because there are strict consequences for violation. These consequences can include incarceration for offenders.

It is the window immediately following separation from an abuser that can be the most dangerous. This is the time when the abuser will likely try to make contact to get the victim to come back. It is important that women seeking enforceable protection follow through on securing a long-term protective order.

Seeking this protection is worth the effort because a restraining order is not just a feigned attempt at protection. An attorney can assist any individual seeking protection from an abusive partner fight for their safety.

Source: Courier-Post, “Data shows restraining orders work,” Lucas K. Murray, May 29, 2013

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