Understanding Orders for Protection in Minnesota

If you are living in an abusive situation, you need to know what you can do to protect yourself and your children.

They had names, birthdates and lives, until they became victims of domestic violence. In 2013, Nancy Sullivan, her adult daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend were helping Nancy move out of a house she shared with former live-in boyfriend Johnny Lee Simpson. Ms. Sullivan was shot and killed by Simpson, while the two others were wounded but survived.

In all, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW) reports 25 women were murdered in 2013 by intimate or formerly intimate partners. Women and men suffering in abusive domestic settings may not recognize the treatment they receive as abusive.

The following are defined as domestic abuse under Minnesota law:

  • Actual physical harm, bodily injury, assault (such as hitting, kicking, slapping, pushing, stabbing), or fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault (such as verbal threats, threatening gestures); or
  • Terroristic threats (such as a threat to kill, break bones, or threatening someone with a knife or a gun); or
  • Criminal sexual conduct with an adult (such as forced sex or forced contact with intimate body parts, even if the parties are married) or any form of sexual contact with a child; or
  • Interference with an emergency call (intentionally interrupting or preventing someone from placing an emergency call.)

Abuse is also considered one incident of physical or sexual assault.

Our law firm helps individuals and other family or household members obtain protection through an Order for Protection (OFP). When you contact our firm, we prepare and file an Affidavit and Petition describing your treatment and why you believe an Order for Protection is necessary. If granted by the court, an OFP prohibits the other party from harassing or hurting you (and any others you are filing on behalf of), or causing fear of harm, until a hearing is held on the matter.

In 2013, at least 12 minor children were left motherless due to domestic violence. If you suffer domestic abuse, do not delay seeking skilled legal guidance in St. Paul.

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