Domestic violence is a serious problem for Utah families. According to the Utah Department of Health, there are 169,156 incidents of physical or sexual domestic violence against women every year in the state of Utah alone. In 2011, there were 19 domestic violence-related homicides and more than 3,400 individuals entered Utah shelters to escape domestic violence. If you or your children have been victims of domestic violence, you should seek a protective order.
To obtain a protective order, you must fill out a Request for Protective Order. In your request, you should set forth facts to establish that domestic violence has occurred. Domestic violence includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats of abuse and/or emotional abuse perpetrated by a cohabitant. A cohabitant can be a current or former spouse, a person to whom you are related by blood or marriage, a person with whom you have children or a person with whom you share a residence.
After you have completed your Request for Protective Order, you should take the request to the court and wait for a judge to review and sign the order. So long as the judge determines that domestic violence has occurred, he will enter a Temporary Protective Order.
After the judge enters the Temporary Protective Order, you must serve the order on the offending party. The order is only valid from the date it is served until the court is able to hold a hearing to determine whether the protective order should be entered on a permanent basis. A hearing will be held within 20 days after the Temporary Protective Order is served. You will be required to appear at the hearing and provide reasons why a permanent order should be issued.
A Utah family law attorney can assist you in filing your Request for Protective Order and can represent you at the protective order hearing.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and are in need of immediate assistance, please contact one of the following free domestic violence hotlines:
- Utah Domestic Violence Link: 1-800-897-5465
- Rape & Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-421-1100
Links to Domestic Violence Resources:
- Utah Department of Health: https://health.utah.gov/vipp/domesticViolence/overview.html
- Forms and Court Assistance: https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/forms/protectorder/forms.html
- Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake: https://legalaidsocietyofsaltlake.org/
- Utah Legal Services: https://www.utahlegalservices.org/