Protection orders are legal instruments available through Law 54 of Domestic Violence to protect victims of domestic violence through a directive that prohibits the aggressor from approaching it. Although for some the protection order is only a role, in many cases it is the first step to help a victim come out of the cycle of violence. These resources can be obtained in any Court of First Instance, which does neither require the intervention of lawyers nor cost anything.
Any victim of domestic violence can file for an order of protection in Virginia, either in person or through a police officer. Law 54 also establishes that any person can request an order of protection in favor of a victim. When she is physically or mentally disabled, there is an emergency or the person is unable to request it for herself.
Violating an order of protection is classified as a felony, so the perpetrator risks being arrested and prosecuted if he approaches a victim with a valid order.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A PROTECTION ORDER?
In order to file for an order of protection in Virginia, the victim must go to any room of the Court of First Instance and present a verbal or written petition, without it being necessary to present criminal charges against the aggressor. On the same day, the victim requests the order and must appear before the judge who will hold a hearing where the specific facts that support the existence of the domestic violence are recounted under oath. After hearing the narrated facts, the judge will issue a determination.
CRITERIA FOR GRANTING AN ORDER OF PROTECTION IN VIRGINIA
- When steps have been taken to locate and notify the aggressor party, and it has not been possible.
- If there is a likelihood that prior notification to the aggressor will cause the damage to be avoided.
- When the victim or survivor shows that there is a great risk to their safety.
REMEDIES A PROTECTION ORDER IN VIRGINIA CAN CATER
Here are certain remedies than filing for an order of protection in Virginia can bring forth:
- Adjudication of provisional custody of minor children.
- Eviction of the home by the aggressor, regardless of the rights they have over said dwelling.
- Prohibit the aggressor from bothering, harassing, pursuing, intimidating, threatening or interfering with the exercise of custody of minor children.
- Prohibit the aggressor from penetrating or approaching any place where the victim or survivor of domestic violence is located.
- Alimony for minor children.
- Alimony for the victim of domestic violence, if the right exists.
- Prohibition of hiding or removing minor children from Puerto Rico.
- Prohibition of disposing of the private property of the victim or survivor and the legal community of acquisitions or community of property.
- Order any provisional measure on possession and use of the residence of the parties, as well as movable property.
- Order the payment of economic compensation for the damages caused.
- Order any other provisional measure to comply with the purposes of the law.