Why an Order of Protection Is Necessary in a Domestic Violence Case

Victims of domestic violence may be able to obtain an order of protection to prevent further abuse. A family law attorney can explain the process of acquiring an order of protection and the limitations of this legal device in a domestic violence case.

Prevention against Abuse

The primary purpose of an order of protection is to prevent further abuse from occurring. It prohibits an alleged abuser from having contact with the victim who requests the order. Contact that can be prohibited includes:

  • Being at or near the victim’s residence
  • Being at or near the victim’s place of employment
  • Being at or near other known places the victim frequents
  • Making contact with the victim via telephone, social media, email or other electronic means
  • Having a third party contact the victim on the alleged abuser’s behalf
  • Contact between the defendant and a minor child
  • Contact between the defendant and an animal

In order to acquire an order of protection, the victim must allege facts that substantiate that an act of domestic violence has occurred within the last 12 months or is likely to  occur in the future, usually by showing physical injury or a threat of imminent harm. If the order or protection is granted and the defendant served with it, the defendant can be arrested if he or she violates the order.

Protection of Others

If there are others in the household that need to be protected, the order of protection may also extend to them. For example, children of the victim may also be included on the order of protection. A child is more likely to be added to a victim’s Order of Protection if that child is not common to the victim and defendant.  If the child is shared by the parties, the Court will usually only include the child if they were directly impacted by the act of violence (i.e. they were a victim as well) or they were in the zone of danger of the act that led to the Order of Protection (i.e. they were nearly injured by a flying objection thrown by the defendant).  Because including common children on an Order of Protection can have implications in a family law case, it is advised that a victim seeking an Order of Protection seek the advice of a family law attorney before adding the child to their Petition.

Removal from Residence

A protective order can cause the defendant to be legally removed from the residence that they share with the victim. This is called granting “exclusive use of the residence” to the victim.  This is meant to protect the victim from further physical harm.

Removal of Firearms

An order of protection can also order the alleged abuser to forfeit his or her firearms if the issuing judge determines that the abuser poses a credible threat to the plaintiff. If the judge makes this mandate, the abuser must surrender the firearms to a local law enforcement agency.

Contact a Family Lawyer

If you would like to learn more about how an order of protection can help you, our family law lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC are here to explain this information to you.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Domestic Violence Case, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.