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An order of protection is meant to protect you from someone who is harassing, abusing, or even simply threatening you. It can be used against a loved one who lives with you, or someone you do not even know.
I recall a quote that the true measure of a society can be judged by the laws it enacts to protect its weak. This country can take pride that it can now be judged in a more favorable light as the Department of Justice has recently created within itself a Violence Against Women Office.
On October 30, 2002, at the Supreme Court, Nassau County, there was a presentation about Domestic Violence, which featured Chief Justice Judith Kaye as keynote speaker. During opening remarks, the head of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence asked the question: ’Why do men batter.’ She then answered her own question: ’Because they can.’
The prevalence of domestic violence in our society is widespread, permeating every facet of society irrespective of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, class, or educational background.
Domestic violence manifests itself in various ways. It includes physical battering, intimidation, isolation, emotional persecution, economic abuse, sexual exploitation, using the children against the other spouse, threats and utilizing male privilege.
In the past, issues of domestic violence were not considered when the court determined custody or visitation. So, theoretically you could have an abusive spouse get unsupervised visitation or even custody of children, whom he/she routinely abused.
New York does not automatically give custody of children to any one parent. In deciding custody, the court only considers what is in the best interest of the child. It considers who gave primary care during the marriage, scheduled doctors' appointments, and attended school meetings. Generally, the court allows the non-custodial parent ample visitation with the child and even awards joint custody. Visitation is often only limited in circumstances where there is abuse.
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