Currently, if you are a victim of domestic violence, the Dallas County prosecutors will file an application with a court for a protective order on your behalf, free of charge. However, until now, an alleged victim was not qualified to receive this free service if there was a divorce or custody case pending in the family courts. The Dallas County commissioners on Tuesday approved funding to expand services to the family courts. Assistant District Attorney Kendall Castello said it will take some time to hire the staff. But, he is hopeful that the county can begin providing these services at the George Allen Courthouse by early 2016. In the meantime, victims seeking a protective order are urged to follow the instructions in the brochures provided below.
What is a protective order?
A protective order can order the alleged abuser to:
- stop committing acts of family or dating violence or any acts that are reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass you or a family/ household member;
- stop all communication with you or a family member (directly or through a third party) or stop communication made in a threatening or harassing manner;
- stay away (at least 500 feet) from your home or place of employment or those of your family or household member;
- stay away from a school or day center that a child protected under the order attends;
- complete a battering intervention and prevention program or attend counseling with someone who specializes in family violence;
- a protective order is good for 2 years.
What happens in the courts when I’m a victim of family violence?
This video is helpful in explaining the purpose of a protective order in criminal and civil cases. It also provides advice from local experts, including judges and lawyers. It was created by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and is available in English and Spanish:
Navigating the Legal System After Surviving Domestic Abuse
How to I get a protective order?
This brochure was created by the District Attorney of Dallas County and contains instructions on how to obtain a protective order. The brochure is in English and Spanish.
Find shelters and counseling in the Dallas area: