No One - Not even your spouse or someone you love has the right to hit you or threaten you with violence - No One!
If you think you may be involved in a violent relationship, help is available. Are you abused? Answer these questions:
Does your spouse or partner...
- Threaten to hurt you or your children?
- Refuse to let you have contact with your family or friends?
- Throw things or destroy your personal belongings?
- Accuse you of having affairs
- Tell you that you are stupid, fat, ugly or call you names?
- Blame you and tell you that you are the cause of all the problems?
- Say you never do anything right?
- Abandon you, leave you places or lock you out?
- Take or hide your keys, important papers or your mail?
- Forbid you to work or to give you money for things you need for you or your child?
- Force you into unwanted sexual practices?
- Hit, kick, shove, grab or shake you or your children or generally react to problems in a violent manner?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship!
- You have the right to ask your Law Enforcement Agency to file a criminal complaint, if one has not already been filed.
- You have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence. This involves completing forms, which you must swear to, that explain to the Judge what type of protection you need and who you are afraid of or who is abusing you.
- Don't have the money to pay for this, fees can be waived and you do not have to have an attorney. There is help available to assist you in completing the forms.
How do I get an Injuction...
In Palm Beach County, this Injunction or Protection Order is available by going to the courthouse, Clerk of the Circuit Court's Office. You must be able to provide a current address so the person abusing you can be served. Once the Judge signs the Injunction, there will be a hearing within 15 days. You must attend the hearing. This order may include some or all of the things listed below, or anything else the Judge feels is necessary to protect you and your children.
- Order the abuser not to commit any further acts of violence against you.
- Order the abuser to leave the home you share and stay away from your home, work or school.
- Order the abuser to pay for support of you and your minor children; or
- Make any other orders necessary to protect you and your children.
Anyone who has experienced abuse needs to know that any of the following means their situation is becoming more dangerous.
- Abuse happens more often
- Abuse gets rougher
- Abuser tries to choke you
- There is a gun in the home
- Abuser uses drugs such as cocaine or heroin
- Abuser threatens to kill self or others
- Abuser is drunk often
- Abuser hits when woman is pregnant
- Abuser is jealous, suspicious or possessive
- Abuser gets into fights with other people
- Abuser hurts or kills pets