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Domestic violence is any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
Types of domestic violence
An assault does not have to be physical violence. An assault can occur if someone intentionally threatens to cause you physical violence, even if they do not touch you.
- Aggravated Assault
This threat must be by word or act and the person threatening you must have done something to make you believe that this violence is about to happen. If the person uses a deadly weapon when committing this act, it is an aggravated assault.
- Battery and Aggravated Battery
An act of domestic violence becomes a battery when someone intentionally touches you without your permission. If that person's touching you causes you great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement, or if the person uses a deadly weapon, or if you were pregnant and the person knew or should have known, the act becomes an aggravated battery.
- Stalking and Aggravated Stalking
If someone purposefully follows or harasses you repeatedly over a period of time for no legitimate purpose, which causes you a great amount of emotional stress, they have committed the act of stalking. If in doing this they threaten your life or threaten to cause injury to you, with the intent to cause you to reasonably fear for your safety, then the act becomes aggravated stalking.
Getting the Injunction
Victims have the right to ask that an injunction (restraining order) be filed against the person inflicting the violence.
A Temporary Injunction may be issued until a Judge can rule on your petition. If the judge decides you do not meet the statutory requirements for the temporary injunction, you may still request a hearing where you and the respondent will appear before the judge.
If your petition is approved, a Permanent Injunction may be ordered.
A sheriff will attempt to serve the respondent with a copy of the pertinent court document. However, you will not have the protection of an injunction until service has been established.
Violating the Terms of the Injunction
In order to initiate further court action, any violations of the terms of the injunction should be reported in person to the Domestic Violence Intake Unit located at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center.