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Top Legal Questions about Domestic Harassment

Meghan Jones

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Q. Do I need to retain the services of a lawyer to get a restraining order?
When faced with domestic violence or any type of domestic harassment, among first things to do is to file a restraining order. The law in each state can be different in determining what constitutes harassment, but generally any threat that could cause harm, or repeated intrusive acts that induce fear could be considered forms of harassment. It is always advisable to retain the services of a lawyer because of the different interpretations of the law in different parts of the US and the resulting legalities that may be involved.

Q. Would slander be considered a form of harassment?
Slander is often very difficult to prove because it is verbal. However, depending on the nature of the slander, it could also be considered to be a type of harassment. Depending on the exact details of the case, you may be able to sue for injunction and damages.

Q. Is Stalking Considered a Form of Harassment?
Many times domestic violence starts with harassment at home and escalades into stalking. Stalking is when threats are directly repeated towards a specific individual resulting in fear or intrusion. Domestic harassment can sometimes become violent.

Can someone file a domestic harassment charge for someone over the age of 18 if they have no proof of harassment?
The person that is actually on the receiving end of the harassment, or the victim, is the one that has to file a charge unless the victim is a minor child. In such situations, the parent or legal guardian of the victim would be allowed to file charges. Harassment can be difficult to prove in the court unless you have witnesses or physical evidence.

Q. Can I get a restraining order on a 15 yr old that is harassing my child?
As a parent you are morally obligated to try and protect your child, regardless of who is causing harassment. The exact nature of the situation can determine if you should seek the services of a lawyer or if you should consider obtaining the restraining order through the court yourself. Kids can be cruel, as well as they bicker at times, but if the situation is getting out of control, the best thing would be to put your child’s safety first.

Home is the place we usually consider the safest place. However, when faced with domestic harassment, the home can become the most dangerous place. Many times, victims of domestic harassment do not speak up, either out of fear or for some other reason. There is legal help available for the victims of domestic violence and the best thing you could do is to retain a lawyer or at least ask a family lawyer to evaluate the particulars of your case and provide legal insights.


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