Protective orders play an important role in providing peace of mind and security for those concerned about domestic violence or threats. Unfortunately, some widespread myths and misconceptions often overshadow their value.
Understand the facts about protective orders so you can better decide if one is right for you.
1. Protective orders only cover physical threats
Many people believe that protective orders only address cases of physical harm. This prevents many from seeking this protection even when it could help. You can seek a protective order in any case when you feel threatened or unsafe due to someone’s actions, including emotional abuse, stalking and cyberbullying.
2. You can get a protective order without going to court
You might hear people say that anyone can get a protective order or that you can get one immediately. The truth is that these orders require a legal process, including not only the petition but a court hearing as well. You might qualify for an immediate order in an emergency, but it is temporary while you pursue the standard protective order channels.
3. Only women get protective orders
There are no gender-based restrictions for protective orders. Anyone feeling threatened or unsafe, whether male, female or non-binary, can seek a protective order through the court.
Receiving an order of protection provides a legal avenue for enforcement in the event that the receiving party violates the terms of the order. In Louisiana, the courts issued more than 30,000 protective orders in 2022 to protect people, though many who could benefit may not file due to these misconceptions. Understanding the truth can make protective orders more accessible to those who need them.