Protective Orders | Return to Index

When a victim is considering, and possibly wavering on filing a protective order, there are some key facts they should keep in mind. Statistics have shown that 1 out of 5 females have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner. In Georgia, 79% of reported abusers were listed as male, and 30% to 50% of children who witness violence in their homes become perpetrators of domestic violence. In 2007 the Georgia Bureau of Investigations reported that at least 53 aggressors murdered their victims.

The Family Violence Act was passed in 1981 in an attempt to bring about an end to acts of family violence. The Act gives the Court authority to order temporary relief as it deems necessary to protect a person from violence. The Act provides relief to a specific class of individuals. In order to attain protection under this act, the victim must have been: 1) Related by marriage (including common-law spouses); 2) Former spouses; 3) Parents, foster parents, or stepparents of the same child against each other; 4) Parents, foster parents, or stepparents against the child or vice versa; or 5) Any person living or formerly living in the same household.

The Court can take several steps in an attempt to protect an individual against abuse under the Family Violence Act. They can grant a party exclusive use of the home and require the offending party to stay away; they can award temporary custody and establish temporary visitation; they can award property and support; provide for counseling or other appropriate psychiatric services; and award costs and attorney fees to the prevailing party.

Should you find yourself in need of a temporary protective order, you should seek counsel immediately.

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