Domestic Abuse is a Crime

Domestic violence is a serious crime, affecting more than 12 million women and men every year. Domestic violence includes physical abuse, stalking, and rape, as well as psychological aggression by an intimate partner or family member.

You are not alone.  More importantly, the abuse is not your fault.

First, Get Yourself Safe

Numerous resources are available to you, including safe places for you and your children and pets to stay. Start here with local shelters and hotlines or contact us, and we can help you find the resources you need.

Indiana Domestic Abuse Resources

Hotlines         

Domestic Violence Network   (317) 872-1086

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (317) 917-3685

Indiana Domestic Violence Hotline     (800) 621-4202

Shelters

*Priority given to battered women

Support Groups/Counseling for Domestic Violence

Next, Get a Restraining Order

Although you can file for a restraining order yourself, consider:

You will be held to the same legal standards as a professional lawyer. In other words, the court will treat you the same as any attorney who has been educated in the law and legal proceedings. You will be expected not only to meet the legal criteria but also to present your case professionally.

Your abuser can choose to be represented by an attorney. If your abuser shows up at the hearing with an attorney, you will have to hold your own not only against a trained professional but also against a person who is already adept at intimidating you.

Legal counsel and support can make a difference in whether or not the court agrees with the appropriateness of a restraining order in your specific situation.

Types of Restraining Orders

There are two types of restraining orders: a temporary restraining order and a regular restraining order. In general, restraining orders:

  • Limit the physical distance within which your abuser can come
  • Prohibits your abuser from contacting you in any way

Temporary Restraining Orders

Temporary restraining orders are often the first step we take. They can be put into place relatively quickly, without requiring your accused abuser to be present.

Temporary restraining orders are, however, short-term, lasting only until a formal hearing can be scheduled, where your accused abuser’s right to refute your claims will be upheld.

The purpose of a temporary restraining order is to keep you out of harm’s way until that hearing takes place. They give us time to work together to build a case and plan next steps for you.

Restraining Orders

Regular restraining orders also have a time limit, but they are longer-term – usually a couple of years. If you adhere to the terms of the order, they can help you, your children, and any pets in your care stay safe, and you can renew your appeal, if necessary, before the expiration of the order.

Obtaining a restraining order requires a court appearance with your accused abuser, who has the right to refute your claims. Even with an attorney, many people find this step stressful and intimidating, but it’s necessary, and we are there to support you.

Consequences of Breaking a Restraining Order

If your abuser breaks the terms of a restraining order, report it immediately. This is a serious legal offense, and not reporting it could have dire consequences in addition to making it difficult to legally defend the order, should that become necessary.

One of the most frustrating and heartbreaking things lawyers face is watching their clients break the terms of a restraining order, either through contacting their abuser or returning to them physically. Remember that obtaining a restraining order a second – or third – time is much more difficult, if not impossible. The court can, in fact, remove the restraining order or view repeated requests as harassment of your abuser.

Adhering to the terms of your restraining order is vital to helping to maintain your safety.