Domestic Violence

No one, not even someone you live with has the right to beat you or threaten you with violence.

If this is happening to you, you can take action.

There is a law to protect you.

Take action: Knowing your legal rights and other options is the first step toward ending the violence.

If you are being abused by your spouse or any other person related by blood or by marriage, who is or was living in the same home as you, there is a law that protects you.

Can this law help?
Yes . . . If this family member - or former family member - has abused you physically, or if you have good reason to fear that this person is about to be violent toward you. This special law in Louisiana enables you to get a judge to order the abuser to stop hurting you. A Petition for Domestic Abuse Protection pursuant to R.S. 46:2131.

The paper that starts the whole process is called a Petition of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. This explains your story to the judge and tells the judge who you need protection from and exactly what protection you need.

What can the judge do for me?
After you file your petition, the judge can sign a Temporary or Permanent Injunction, or both. Either type of injunction, or order, will tell the abuser that he/she can no longer be violent toward you. A Temporary Injunction can be obtained on the same day you file your Petition, without a hearing and without the abuser knowing first. A Temporary Injunction lasts for a stated period of time not to exceed 30 days and is given to you by the judge when you are in immediate danger of being hurt.

What does the injunction do?
Some things the judge may order in the injunction are:

  1. That the abuser not commit any more acts of violence.
  2. That the abuser leave the home you share.
  3. That the abuser stay away from your home if you are not living together and or your place of employment.
  4. That you have temporary custody of any children you and the abuser have together.
  5. The judge can order other relief also, depending upon the circumstances. This is why the contents of the Petition and your attendance at all hearings is so important - so that you can tell the judge what you need and why you need it.

How can I get an injunction for protection?
Go to the courthouse in your parish. Bring identification and any papers related to your case. Tell the clerk that you need an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. Tell the clerk all the facts of the case, and the different items you want the judge to order.

Pay the fees for filing the papers. If you cannot afford these fees, tell the clerk. You have the right to file this Injunction even if you cannot afford to pay the fees.

What if the abuse or threats happen again?
If the abuser disobeys the Injunction and threatens or physically abuses you, call your local law enforcement agency and show them the certified copy of the Injunction for Protection. In some cases, the officer will arrest the abuser. If the officer does not arrest the abuser, you can still file a Motion for Contempt at the parish courthouse.

What if I have more questions?
Getting help can be a long and difficult process, but it is worth the effort and there are many people who will help you. If you are upset and have questions or if you need a safe place to stay, contact:

  • The Battered Women's Program: Support and safe shelter for people experiencing aggression from a friend, relative or lover. 486-0377
  • YWCA Rape Crisis Hotline: A service offering information, immediate crisis support, group therapy and individual counseling sessions. 483-8888
  • Domestic Violence Hotline. 1-800-799-7233

Tulane University has a wide array of resources to support people who have been victims of crimes within a relationship or by a stranger on campus or off campus.

  • Uptown Department of Public Safety's Office of Crime Prevention and Victim Resources: A source of information and assistance for improving personal security. Provides escorts as victims go through the criminal justice system, and offers victim-aware referrals for academic, legal, housing, medical and counseling assistance. 865-5381
  • Tulane Counseling and Testing Center: Personal counseling for a wide variety of issues including individual crisis intervention services. 865-5113
  • Tulane Employee Assistance Program: A confidential counseling referral service that offers three free counseling sessions. 587-7485.
  • Tulane REACH: A 24-hour volunteer education, information and support service for students who have experienced an incident of sexual aggression. This group offers a wide selection of confidential support. Caller may express a preference for assistance from student, staff and or faculty volunteers. 865-5808
  • Tulane Student Health Services: Social work, health education and drug and alcohol counselors and a psychiatric division as well as medical support; for students. 865-5255
  • Tulane Issues of Recovery - A Support Group for Survivors of Sexual Aggression: Meets weekly. Led by a clinical social worker. 865-5255
  • Tulane Peer Support Network: A student-run, staff-assisted listening and referral service, for students. 865-5677
  • Tulane Personnel Services, Office of Equal Opportunities: For those experiencing sexual harassment. 865-5280
  • Tulane Religious Life Staff: Available for support counseling and referrals to other community services. Contact the preferred religious center or call 866-8681
  • Tulane Student Affairs Office (865-5180) and Residence Life Staff (865-5724): For support, problem solving, discipline and referral.

Several laws that have been enacted by the State of Louisiana to combat domestic violence

  • Protection from Family Violence Act
  • Domestic Abuse Assistance
  • Post Separation Family Violence Relief Act
  • Injunction Against Abuse, Central Registry
  • Protective Order Registry
  • Basic Rights for Victims and Witness
  • Law Enforcement Officers Duties
  • Violation of Protective Orders