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