When can I get an order of protection?

Q. “We are married 17 years, my husbands anger has always been a problem. We have 2 children that are petrified of their father. They fear he will hurt me. He rejects seeking professional help for us. As the years have gone by, his behavior in anger has become intolerable and scary. He threatens us, harasses, stalks, and will not leave the house. He makes good money, owns properties, and will not give us any money for expenses. Not sure what I can do.”
Answer: Yes, you can obtain an order of protection. You don’t say how old your children are, but you can get the order to protect them as well. When you go to court and get your order of protection, you’ll need to be clear as to the fear you mention. You write, “They fear he will hurt me,” but you don’t say that you are afraid. In order to obtain an order of protection for yourself, this is something you absolutely need to tell the judge. Telling the judge that your children are afraid that he will hurt you, without saying you are afraid, could hurt your case. Also, people always think that they have to detail all the abuse in that little box provided to you in the form. In the box that asks you to describe the abuse, just write, “see attached.” Then attach a detailed list of what occurred, including the date, what he said or did, and how it made you feel. This detailed list of what happened can be the difference for getting an order of protection or having it denied 21 days later.

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