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Protective Orders: Do They Actually Protect Potential Victims?

Written by Amar Weisman » February 24, 2016 »

Individuals who find themselves in situations where a protective order is necessary to keep a violent or overly-aggressive individual away expect such orders to actually keep them out of harm’s way. In fact, in Maryland, such orders have been shown to be quite helpful at keeping people safe, as they act to keep two parties who have a violent history apart.

Still, your Towson domestic violence attorney will tell you that those seeking protective orders must be aware and understand that there may be certain short-term dangers awaiting them once the order has been handed down.

Understanding the Short-Term Dangers

Numerous lawmakers across the country have considered introducing legislation that is geared toward avoiding domestic violence-related deaths by taking away the guns of those who have been served with protective orders. As a matter of fact, in Ohio, a bill was introduced several years ago that required individuals who had been served with temporary protection orders to surrender their guns temporarily to area law enforcement (or sell them) within 24 hours of being served.

One of the sponsors of that bill noted that the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence is the period just after a protection order has been issued. The sponsors of that bill believed that “by temporarily separating the abuser from their firearm, we can work to prevent unnecessary and tragic homicides in the future.”

Do Protective Orders Really Work?

Several studies have been done with regard to the effectiveness of protective orders and deterring additional violence. Some studies have found that such orders can be quite effective, while others found it difficult to pinpoint whether actual protection was provided to potential victims.

Taking a look back at a US Justice Department study that was done on the issue in 2009, the researchers concluded that there was no definitive answer to the question, primarily because it’s not “ethically permissible” to arbitrarily grant/deny protective orders in an effort to do a comparison. Additionally, according to the researchers, protective orders may be effective in different ways and at different levels.

The report did note, however, that as far as deterring repeat abuse situations, the studies that focused on before-and-after scenarios found that protective orders may deter certain abusers. That being the case, individuals wishing to obtain protective orders should not hesitate to do so, but they should also bear in mind that not all abusers will be deterred.

All too often, the issue that brings about more violence after a protective order has been issued stems from the fact that the alleged abuser is simply mad that the other individual has taken such steps and gotten a judge involved. It is still imperative for individuals seeking protective orders to understand what steps they must take to get the process going, as well as any additional steps that must be taken to keep them as safe as possible.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.