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Is there any benefit to taking out an order of protection?

If you turn on the news, you're bound to hear about a case of domestic violence that turns deadly. Some victims are killed because their abuser violates a restraining order, known as an order of protection in California. In cases like this, you may wonder if taking out an order of protection really does any good.

A judge will generally approve a petitioner's request for an order of protection if they can prove that they've been threatened, attacked, harassed or stalked. An abuser may threaten to or actually take these actions at an individual's school, their workplace or their home.

In California, an order of protection can be filed against the perpetrator of domestic violence including a same-sex partner, someone that you've dated or a former or current spouse. It may also be filed against someone living at your house, whether it's the parent of your child or someone related to you by adoption, marriage or blood.

Judges in Riverside may issue temporary or emergency protective orders if they're unable to hear the matter right away. These generally remain in effect until a hearing can be scheduled. Once they're issued, it's up to the abuser to comply with it. When they don't, they receive a slap on the wrist. Many legal analysts argue that harsher penalties would serve as more of a deterrent.

In some cases, especially if the order of protection is issued unexpectedly, it may actually cause the abuser's behavior to escalate. Legal analysts note that there are far more positives than negatives associated with taking out an order of protection.

Many abusers steer clear from escalating their behavior because they don't want to get charged with a crime. In some jurisdictions, abusers who've had restraining orders filed against are tracked using a global positioning system (GPS). If police receive an alert that they've moved in too close to their victim, then it will alert them. They'll then swoop in and arrest them.

Victims can take measures to protect themselves as well. They should keep the address of their home, employer and other personal information private. They should tell as many people as possible about the order of protection though. It's important that they track any violations and report them to the police. An attorney can advise you of additional steps that you may want to take to keep both you and your family safe.

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