This week, KPRC 2 presents ‘Breaking Free’ - a weeklong initiative focused on stopping partner violence. The goal is to provide support, resources, and solutions that can save lives. Just about every member of the team is working on this project in one form or another. In this week’s episode of Ask Amy, Brandi Lowery with Lone Star Legal Aid talks about planning an escape, and how to get a protective order.
Why do you need a protective order?
“Protective orders are powerful. I mean it’s like with what you think if you feel like you need a protective order absolutely file for a protective order and you can file here and Harris county. They’re free,” explains Lowery.
“We have 280 District Court, which is our protective order court. So you will file protective order and you can follow a temporary expert-type protective order which gives you why you’re waiting on your hearing date. It’ll give you like 20 days of protection until you have your hearing okay in a protective order though. If you have a family violence protective order, you have to prove to things you have to prove that there’s a history of family violence and you have to prove that family violence is likely to occur in the future,” said Lowery.
E-file Texas has a step-by-step guide for applying for a protective order. There is also a chat option where you can ask questions.
What do you have to prove for a protective order?
Lowery explains, “Basically you’re having to tell the judge, yes, the user has been abusing me all this time, but I’m also scared of this person. If you don’t give me the protective order and then with the protective order you do have to serve that person. A person does have the right to appear in court.
Do you have to have police reports as evidence to file a protective order?
“A lot of times people don’t call the police and a lot of times they’re scared to call the police because they feel like the police may not do anything. So a lot of times victims are sent home suffering in silence and not realizing, you know, well, they’re thinking if I call the police he/she may kill me. So you don’t necessarily have to call the police to have a protector it helps but I don’t want anybody to feel like oh because I didn’t call the police.”
Lowery explains that a protective order says the person cannot come within a certain distance, like 200 feet from you.
If you have questions you can call Lone Star Legal Aid at 713-652-0077.
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association
How to file for a protective order
In the full Ask Amy episode, Lowery and Amy talk about everything from financial abuse, to how to pack a go-bag, and legal paperwork to have on hand. We will post the full episode here when it is ready.
For our ‘Breaking Free’ initiative, each day you’ll find several stories focused on various topics related to partner abuse. Here is the complete program guide. We’ve also put together a complete list of organizations in our area that can offer help.
If you have a specific question, email AskAmy@kprc.com and we will work to connect you to the right place.