Obtaining Protection from Abuse

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January 21, 2014

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, and as painful as these circumstances are, it is important to know that protection is available. Many Oregon laws provide safety for survivors of domestic violence. If you believe you have or are experiencing abuse at the hands of an intimate or former partner, you may qualify for a restraining order providing protection from the abuser.

If you are currently navigating a marital dissolution, separation or annulment case, you can speak with your attorney about filing a motion requesting a temporary order restraining one party from “molesting or interfering in any manner with the other party or the minor children.” (ORS 107.095.)

You can also petition the court for a restraining order through the Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA). To obtain a restraining order, you must first have a qualifying relationship with the other party. Qualifying relationships are: (1) spouses; (2) former spouses; (3) adults related by blood, marriage, or adoption; (4) persons who are cohabitating or who have cohabitated (in a sexually intimate relationship); (5) persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship with each other within the preceding two years; and (6) unmarried parents of a minor child. There is no opposite sex requirement in regard to a qualifying relationship.

The qualifying relationship is the first step. One must also be able to show that (1) he or she has been the victim of an incident of abuse within the preceding 180 days; (2) he or she is in imminent danger of further abuse; and (3) the respondent presents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or petitioner’s minor child. Only one incident of abuse within the preceding 180 days is required. Abuse is broadly defined under Oregon law. If you are not sure if you are experiencing abuse, speak to an attorney to discuss your individual situation and get help to develop a plan for obtaining the right protection.

Domestic violence should not be overlooked, excused, or denied. It is important to be aware that if you are experiencing abuse you may be entitled to certain protections. Your attorney can also help connect you to community resources that are there to help.