According to statistics, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds in the United States. In Michigan alone, 68,500 women were victims of domestic and intimate partner violence in 2011. If you need protection from a violent partner, the court can issue a personal protection order (PPO) to stop a perpetrator from harming you or your children.
What is a PPO?
A PPO is designed to create distance between a violent perpetrator and the victim. The PPO can specify that the perpetrator cannot legally approach you, your home, your workplace or your children — and faces arrest if he or she violates the order.
Two types of PPOs are available to victims — a domestic PPO and a stalking PPO. You seek a domestic PPO if your abuser is your current or former spouse, if you have a child together or if it is an intimate partner or someone living in your household. These guidelines apply to relationships that are current or have occurred anytime in the past.
A stalking PPO is appropriate if the perpetrator is anyone else who is threatening you or engaging in behavior designed to instill fear, and is not related to you in the ways detailed in the preceding paragraph. According to Michigan law, a parent cannot get a PPO against a minor child and a minor child cannot get a PPO against a parent.
How do I get a PPO?
Your attorney can help you request your PPO from a judge. You must provide proof of assault, threat of harm or fear of harm and name all victims (or targets). The judge then issues the PPO and you arrange to have the perpetrator served with PPO. You should also do the following:
- Keep a copy of the PPO on your person always
- Keep a spare copy in a safe place
- Make arrangements to relocate to a shelter if necessary
There may be a short waiting period between the time you request the PPO and the time the hearing is scheduled. If you fear in danger of being harmed you can request the order be processed immediately by checking the ex parte option box on the form.
There is no order that can thwart someone intent on violence. Do not take unnecessary chances. Speak with an attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins in Bloomfield Hills about your need for protection.