Domestic violence is a public health issue that can have ramifications through generations of a family, especially when it results in death: The absence of the murdered loved one is felt day in and day out, and it casts a shadow over celebrations and holidays. The family of Renee Bradley, who was stabbed to death by her estranged boyfriend in 2006, still mourns her loss. The mother of four was only forty-two years old when she was murdered. Her children miss their mother, and her grandchildren never had the chance to know their grandmother. Turning his grief into action, Renee's son Siyan Bradley honors his mother's memory by serving on the Board of Trustees for Women Aware in New Brunswick, New Jersey; Women Aware helps approximately 2,000 victims of domestic abuse each year through services including emergency shelter, support groups, and legal information about potentially life-saving measures like restraining orders. Siyan is determined to help make sure other families do not lose a family member to domestic violence.
What a Restraining Order Is and How It Can Protect You
If you have a current or former intimate partner who is prone to violence, a restraining order can provide protection. In New Jersey, this type of legal order, issued by a court, prohibits the subject of the restraining order, known as the “defendant,” from contacting the petitioner, known as the “plaintiff.” In addition to placing clear limits on the defendant, such as the distance they must keep from the plaintiff's workplace, a restraining order may also order the defendant to undergo a mental health evaluation or counseling or make child support payments.
Because the plaintiff's safety may be at risk, a temporary restraining order can be processed quickly on an emergency basis, often outside of regular business hours and without input from the defendant. The temporary restraining order lasts until a hearing can be scheduled, or about ten days. Both the plaintiff and defendant attend the hearing, presenting evidence and testimony. Having legal representation is not required, but given the seriousness of the circumstances and the issue of personal safety, the plaintiff needs counsel from an experienced attorney. After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue a permanent restraining order. The defendant faces legal penalties for violating the terms of either a temporary or permanent restraining order.
Take Action to Protect Yourself From Domestic Violence – The Lento Law Firm Can Help You Obtain a Restraining Order
Living in a volatile environment, fearing for your physical safety, is enormously stressful for you, and it also takes a toll on your children. The experienced Lento Law Firm Family Law Team will guide you through the process of obtaining a restraining order so you can restore your sense of safety and find peace of mind. Call the Family Law Team at the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or complete our online form; we want to help.