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Temporary Protection Orders & Safety Plans

What is Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior in which an intimate partner or household member uses physical violence, coercion, threats intimidation, or emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control another. Domestic Violence occurs when one person causes emotional or physical harm to someone that they live with or have lived with in the past. If you believe that you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence please reach out the Douglas County Task Force on our 24-hour Crisis Line at 678-715-1196 or email maria@douglastaskforce.com.

I woman sitting on a brick wall with leaves surrounding her

What is a Safety Plan?

A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that can help you avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react when you are in danger. If you’re experiencing abuse or are in an unhealthy relationship, creating a safety plan can be very helpful. Whether you decide to end the relationship or stay, it’s a good idea to empower yourself with the knowledge of how to act in different scenarios.

  1. Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.
  2. Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.
  3. How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.
  4. Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen, try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.
  5. Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.
  6. Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use every day (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  7. Going over your safety plan often.
  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.
  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.
  3. Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.
  4. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
  5. How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house - taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.
  6. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
  7. Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  8. Think about reviewing your safety plan often.
  1. Money
  2. Keys to car, house, work
  3. Extra clothes
  4. Medicine
  5. Birth certificates
  6. Partner’s most current paycheck stubs
  7. Social security cards
  8. School and medical records
  9. Bankbooks, credit cards
  10. Driver's license
  11. Car registration
  12. Welfare identification
  13. Passports, green cards, work permits
  14. Lease/rental agreement
  15. Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
  16. Insurance papers
  17. TPO, divorce papers, custody orders
  18. Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
  19. Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)

What is a Lethality Assessment?

A Lethality Assessment helps determine the level of danger and/or severity of the situation of a victim. Answer the following questions to assess your current risk:

  1. Has the physical violence increased in severity or frequency over the past year?
  2. Has your abuser ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon?
  3. Does your abuser ever try to choke (strangle) you?
  4. Does your abuser own a gun?
  5. Has your abuser ever forced you to have sex when you did not wish to do so?
  6. Does your abuser use drugs?
  7. Does your abuser threaten to kill you and/or do you believe your abuser is capable of killing you?
  8. Is your abuser drunk every day or almost every day? (In terms of quantity of alcohol.)
  9. Does your abuser control most or all of your daily activities? For instance: does your abuser tell you who you can be friends with, when you can see your family, how much money you can use, or when you can take your abuser's car?
  10. Have you ever been beaten by him while you were pregnant?
  11. Is your abuser violently and constantly jealous of you? (For instance, does your abuser say “If I can’t have you, no one can.”)
  12. Have you ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?
  13. Has your abuser ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?
  14. Does your abuser threaten to harm your children?
  15. Do you have a child that is not his?
  16. Is your abuser unemployed?
  17. Have you left him during the past year?
  18. Do you currently have another (different) intimate partner?
  19. Does your abuser follow or spy on you, leave threatening notes, destroy your property, or call you when you don’t want him/her to?

What is a Temporary Protective Order?

A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is an enforceable legal action taken to shield a victim of domestic violence and/or stalking. It also gives law enforcement the tools to protect you. There are two types of TPOs in Douglas County: Family Violence Protective Order and Stalking Order. The following are the requirements for each.

  1. Relationship Requirement- Married or were married in the past, live together presently or in the past, child together, foster parent and foster child, stepparent and stepchild, parent and child.
  2. Recent incident of violence or threat of violence.
  3. Order may require abuser to vacate family residence upon service. May also grant temporary custody of children.
  1. No relationship requirement.
  2. Pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior. Contacting repeatedly without consent.
  3. Immediate family, including children included in protection.

The Douglas County Task Force provides this service at no cost. For more information on obtaining a temporary protective orders contact our office at 678-715-1196, Monday- Friday, 8 am -5 pm, or email maria@douglastaskforce.com. TPOs are not filed after office hours. Spanish speaking advocates available. If you are immediate danger call 911 immediately.

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