Lawmakers in Kentucky realize that domestic violence is a very serious situation, and the victims who suffer from this type of criminal behavior need all the help they can get. For this reason, the state of Kentucky has made it fairly easy for a victim of domestic violence to obtain an emergency protective order (EPO) against her abuser. The EPO is a very useful tool for victims of domestic violence because the EPO provides a form of protection for the victim in a situation where the victim may otherwise feel helpless in fighting the actions of the abuser.
File a petition for an EPO with the clerk of court in your county of residence or in the county to which you fled to escape domestic violence. Describe the most recent acts of violence or threatening behavior you have experienced at the hands of the abuser in your report. Include information about any instances in which the abuser threatened you or your family with a weapon or other dangerous instrument.
Ask a law enforcement official to serve the EPO on the defendant of your domestic violence case. Wait for the law enforcement official or the agency who was assigned to serve the EPO to contact you and inform you of when the EPO was delivered to the abuser. Call the delivery agency after a few days to determine if and when the EPO was served if the company fails to contact you first about the EPO's delivery status.
Attend your court hearing on the scheduled date. Describe the abuse and threats you have endured from the defendant to the judge. Provide any physical evidence, such as photographs of the abuse or official medical and police reports, to prove to the judge the abuse occurred. Tell the judge what type of protection you are seeking or what safety needs you feel must be met in order to protect yourself and your family from the abuser. Wait for the judge to rule on your domestic violence case.
Always keep a copy of the EPO with you at all times.
Make a copy of the EPO to leave with a family member or close friend in case something happens to your copy of the order.
The EPO does not go into effect until the abuser either receives a copy of the EPO, or the abuser is notified of the EPO by law enforcement officials.
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