YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN First News anchor and reporter Amy Radinovic has been investigating the issue of domestic violence and how agencies and communities are responding to the problem.
One part of the process surrounds the filing of civil protections orders. It’s a big step for most women, and many are afraid it will anger the abuser and inflame an already volatile situation.
But if you do decide you want the courts to help keep an aggressor away, there are several procedures that must be followed.
The petition itself can be found at any county courthouse where you reside. In Mahoning County, you can even get the petition online.
There’s a large space to fill out the details of the incident, or reason you are afraid. Describe the violence in detail and include any threats, physical abuse, any bruising, or hospitalization required.
If there are witnesses or proof such as emails, text messages or threats on social media, those should be kept and documented.
It is free to file for a protection order, and you do not need an attorney. You must show up at all hearings, or the petition will likely be dismissed.
If the judge does grant the protection order, you must keep a copy with you at all times. The police will need to see it if your abuser breaks the terms of the order.
The terms could mandate that the abuser be banned from your home, your place of employment and even your children’s school.
Watch Amy Radinovic’s full report on domestic violence tonight on WKBN 27 First News at 6 p.m. Amy also filed a special report on domestic violence expert and women’s advocate Delphine Baldwin, who pioneered a special unit at the Youngstown Police Department. Catch that report on First News at 5 p.m.