Can You Get a Restraining Order for Verbal Abuse?
You are probably familiar with the saying, 'stick and stones can break my bones, but words can never break me. ' Well, in this instance, the words do hurt. Medical reports prove that verbal abuse reduces the brain's grey matter, causes many mental issues, such as PTSD, and hurts as much as sexual assault! Nevertheless, the real question remains, ?
You, a minor, family member, or friend may become a victim of verbal abuse. But, it can be more challenging when you don't know when to seek help, the procedure to follow, how it works, how much it costs, and how long it lasts.
Read on to get these and more answers.
What Is Verbal Abuse?
Before knowing about verbal abuse restraining orders, it helps to understand what verbal abuse is. Unfortunately, the law doesn't clearly define verbal abuse, but medical experts do.
Verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse consisting of yelling, name-calling, blaming, gaslighting, judging, blaming, threatening, and humiliating actions towards a victim (protected person) from an abuser (restricted person). The restricted person aims to maintain and exert power over the protected person.
Verbal abuse can happen anywhere; at work, various forms of relationships, or at work. In most cases, verbal abuse is a precursor to physical abuse, especially domestic violence. Furthermore, it's more common than you think; between 50-80% of adults are victims of verbal abuse.
What Is a Restraining Order, and How Does It Work?
A restraining order, better known as a protective order, is an order granted by the court to protect a victim (protected person) against harmful vices such as harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, all forms of abuse, and human trafficking from an abuser or perpetrator (restricted person).
Depending on the circumstances, there are different types of emotional restraining orders you can file against an abuser or file against you.
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) – a judge's short-term protection directive before the main trial date. The victim must convince the judge they are in immediate danger, warranting the TRO.
- Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) – directs one person to abstain from performing specific actions against another person (victim) for 5-7 days. The EPO gives room to file for a permanent order.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) – safeguards victims of domestic violence against harm from their abusers.
- Workplace Violence Prevention Restraining Order – protects an employee from threats, violence, or harassment at the workplace.
- Civil Harassment Orders – protects a victim against an abuser who isn't close or related to them.
- Juvenile Restraining Order - safeguards a juvenile victim against certain actions from an abuser they aren't close or related to.
- Dependent Adult or Elder Abuse Orders – directive to protect a dependent or an elderly victim (60 years and older) from harmful actions from an abuser.
- Criminal Protective Order/Stay Away Order – order given to an abuser/defendant in an ongoing criminal lawsuit to refrain from contacting or committing any actions against the protected person.
Generally, some of these orders can last up to five years, are valid across state lines, and works to mandate the restricted person to:
- Refrain from any contact with you or your dependents living with you
- Keep off your home, place of work, and all other areas you frequent
- Vacate from your living quarters, if you live together
- Not to carry any weapons such as guns
Check Your State's Restraining Order Laws on Verbal Abuse
serve one main purpose, to safeguard the protected person from the actions of the restricted person. However, these laws vary by state. For instance, currently, 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Ricco consider pets/companion animals in their restraining order laws, such as domestic violence cases.
For a more detailed view of your state's restraining order laws, refer below:
How to Obtain a Restraining Order for Verbal Abuse
Obtaining a protective order for emotional abuse may also vary by state.
However, the general steps in obtaining the order include the following several steps:
- Complete several application forms that you obtain through the office of the county, office of the clerk of the court, district attorney, your attorney, or legal aid offices in your state.
- File the applications forms with the court clerk, who'll give them to the judge. The judge might honor your request, grant a temporary restraining order, and set a hearing date. The clerk will instruct you to return the following day (varies with each state and court) to check the judge's decision.
- Serve the abuser a copy of the protective order application and date of hearing. You will receive proof of service – a document that indicates where and when the abuser received the protective order applications.
- Collect all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Gather photos, videos, medical records, police records, and tattered clothing. Having witnesses can also strengthen your case.
- Include copies of your and the abuser's income and expenditure.
- Attend the court hearing hoping for a positive outcome.
You should know that filing and obtaining a restraining order is free in all states. However, should you use the services of a lawyer, you will meet the legal fees.
Additionally, age doesn't restrict a victim from filing a protective order. Nonetheless, a legal guardian should accompany a victim below 18 years.
What Happens After a Restraining Order Hearing
You have followed all the steps of obtaining a restraining order for verbal abuse to the tee. There's a possibility of two outcomes:
The court will grant you a permanent protective order that might last between two to five years. Before you leave the courthouse, review the protective order carefully. Make several copies and distribute them to necessary parties, including the abuser (if not present for the hearing), security guards at your home, workplace, children's school, or anywhere else the restricted person might reach you.
After doing all you can, the judge might not find any grounds to issue the protective order. That's not the end of the road; you can take the following DIY steps:
- Appeal the outcome to a higher court within five days of the ruling. You still have to fill dozens of forms you can get online, court clerk's office or prose department office of the court
- Look for a lawyer to help you with the case
- Find haven in safety programs in your area, such as the National Abuse Hotline, child welfare organization, Safety From Violence and Abuse, to name a few.
Whether you are successful and receive the protective order or denied, one thing is for sure, it's a hassle. The process is labour-intensive, time-consuming, and risky. All the dozen forms you need to complete and sign. Intermingling with dozens of people at the courthouses is a health and safety risk for everyone present. Worse still, you might still fail. Fortunately, there's a faster, more convenient, automated, less frustrating way with DoNotPay.
File a Restraining Order for Verbal Abuse With the Help of DoNotPay
If your DIY ways of obtaining a restraining order for verbal abuse fails, all is not lost.
Out versatile platform can help you achieve your goal through these simple steps:
- Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.
- Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product.
- Submit the form and you’re done!
And that’s it! DoNotPay will compile for you the forms you need to fill out and give you detailed instructions for how to file for a restraining order in your jurisdiction. Stay safe!
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
We understand the importance of your safety and that of your loved ones. We also acknowledge how complicated the process of obtaining a restraining order for emotional abuse can be challenging, especially for first-timers. However, once you obtain your protective order, our platform can handle a host of other challenges, including:
- Educate you on compensation if you are a victim of a crime
- Handle annoying neighbours for you
- Lodge complaints in small arms court
- Enjoying robocall compensation
- Help you with a power of attorney
- Gain access to standardized legal documents
- Protect yourself against stalking and harassment