If a person commits an act of violence against you, or if another person’s conduct causes you to fear for your safety, you may wish to obtain a protective order against him or her. A protective order is a legal injunction that the courts issue to prevent someone from engaging in certain behaviors — typically, contacting the victim. Though all protective orders essentially serve the same purpose, Florida recognizes four types of protective injunctions: Domestic, dating, sexual and repeat. FindLaw explains the four types of protective orders in detail.

Domestic violence protective orders

A judge may issue a domestic violence protective order in a case involving violence committed by one family or household member against another. Situations that may call for a protective injunction include those involving stalking, assault, sexual abuse, battery, false imprisonment, kidnapping and any other criminal offenses that result in injury or death.

It is important to note that the judge will only issue a domestic violence protective injunction to protect individuals who have a specific relationship with the offender. For this type of order to apply, the victim must be a relative by marriage or blood, a former or current spouse, a cohabitant or former cohabitant or a child’s other parent.

Dating violence protective order

You may need to file a dating violence protective order if you are or were in a “continuing and significant” romantic relationship with the offender. For a relationship to constitute as “continuing and significant,” you and the subject of the order must have dated within the last six months; your relationship involved or had the expectation of sexual involvement or affection; and you and the offender were involved with each other over a continuous period of time.

Sexual violence protective injunction

If the offense against which you hope to protect yourself involved sexual acts, a sexual violence protective order may be the best type of order for your situation. Sexual acts that may necessitate this type of order include sexual battery, luring or enticing a child, lewd or lascivious acts committed in the presence of or upon a person younger than 16 and any forcible felony that involves a sexual act.

Repeat

A repeat protective order is for individuals who engaged in two instances of violence against the same person and/or an immediate member of the victim’s family. At least one of the events must have occurred within six months of you filing the protective order.

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