OOP Survivor Blog

Four women and five children die every day in the U.S. due to domestic violence. Read President Barack Obama's Presidential Proclamation announcing his commitment to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Going to court to file an Order of Protection

When I went to the Superior Court in Phoenix to file an Order of Protection against Neil, it was an overwhelming process. I first had to go to the Family Violence Prevention Center located in the Superior Court building. It was such a sad place. There were other women there who were doing the same thing that I was - filing an Order of Protection in order to feel safe. And we all had to fill out the same paperwork. And relive the chaos that we'd been living.

It was quite sobering to be in that place, both physically and figuratively. Me, in a Family Violence Prevention Center?? Are you kidding me??? That was someplace I never thought I'd be -- ever. One thing that my divorce attorney had advised me was to be sure to write about what had happened over the course of the ten months that we'd been married. She said that if I didn't include mention of what had happened during those ten months, then I'd be limited in what I'd be able to provide in my testimony if I were to have to go to court.

Looking back, I wish I'd been more specific with dates. I only included the mention of one date in particular -- that evening of February 5th when I had to call the police to my home. Later, that ended up biting me in court because the judge only let me talk about that one date that I'd included in my Order of Protection petition. But that's another story for another post....

So there I was, in the Family Violence Prevention Center wondering how the heck I could possibly be there, spending an hour filling out the Order of Protection petition forms, and crying inside, wishing that none of this had ever happened. That I'd never married him. That I'd never met him. This was all such a nightmare.

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