Call The Police First When Facing Domestic Violence Issues?
In the last 4 years in Montgomery County the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court has cited that they have seen a 40 percent increase in the number of civil protection orders. Anyone, man or woman, can go to court and ask for a civil protection order from another individual, if they feel threatened or endangered by that individual. There is not a fee involved to file the order, and the person filing can get a hearing immediately. The purpose of the order is to forbid the threatening party from contacting or going near the individual who feels endangered.
Of course there is no guarantee that the civil protection order will keep an individual safe from further harassment or even violence. The Montgomery County Relations Court is finding that issuing protection orders is consuming greater than half of the entire caseload. Chief Judge Denise Cross believes that in many cases the protection order serves it’s purpose and as a result the abuser does leave the victim alone. Judge Cross says that the first step for anyone who feels concerned for their safety is to call the police for help, and then go to court to seek a protection order. Judge Cross said, “We hear both sides and we make a decision. If that decision is this person needs protection, we absolutely want to make sure that the person is protected.”
Will Filing A Civil Protection Order Worsen The Situation With The Aggressor?
Jennifer Petrella-Ahrens, the administrator for Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court believes that the most difficult period for someone seeking a protection order is the time period immediately following the request. Petrella-Aherns said, “Once the service of the order is given to the alleged abuser, which can be a trigger that really sets them off. If they’re already at a situation where they going to become violent with you, and now we’re saying that we’re stopping this and preventing you from doing it anymore that can be the trigger that really fires up the aggressor.”
Petrell-Aherns caution people who file to be on high alert and to always have a copy of the order with them in case there is any violation. If there is, be sure to immediately contact police.
The Artemis Center in Dayton is an advocacy group that helps victims of domestic violence. They offer services to victims and their children such as aiding with the legal process and court outreach. According to the Center, one in seven men, and one in four women have been victims of physical abuse by their partner. Jane Keiffer, the executive director of the Artemis Center, cautions that sometimes going to court for a protection order is not always the best idea. Keiffer said, “
Some abusers really uphold the law. So a piece of paper that says you can’t come around means something. And there’s some that that doesn’t mean anything to, so we really kind of look at the entire situation and what’s best for this person.” Decisions on how to best help the individual coming to the Artemis Center for help are made on a case-by-case basis. The number one priority in each case however, is the safety of the victim.
Mongomery County Sees Increase In Protection Orders Filed
The number of protection orders filed in 2016 in Montgomery County was 1,463, Each year since then the number has steadily increased. In 2019, 2,041 orders were filed by the court. There is concern in our community as to why the increase. One speculation is that In 2018, there were changes in the laws that allow individuals who have been on a date with a person in the last year and has been a victim of violence, to be able to file for an order.
Petrella-Aherns thinks that people are perhaps talking more, learning more and asking the court for help. She says that the court is meeting with different agencies to establish the Family Justice Center. The aim would be to bring various services in the area together to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to get help quickly. About 20 agencies, including the YWCA and Dayton Police are part of this group working together.
Petrella-Aherns stated, “It’s apparent that we have got to address this issue in our community and as an entire community. We have to come together. It’s time for us to take the health of our community back and provide a place where we can give those resources, those wrap-around services to our victims, so they can move into the survivor mode much sooner.”
Here is the link to an article we posted on March 10, 2018 looking at the statistics of domestic violence filings in Montgomery County, Ohio. Be sure to take the necessary steps to remain safe! If you are looking for a lawyer in the Dayton area to assist you with your civil domestic violence filing or for a divorce, call for an appointment at 937 293-2141.
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog. Mr. Mues has also been a dog owner for 55+ years, and just recently, he and his wife are the owners of "Ralph", a rescued mixed Wire Hair and Jack Russell Terrier.