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Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

If you or your family members are experiencing an immediate act of violence, you should immediately call the police for their assistance. If you need help being represented in a Family Court Family Offense Proceeding, you should call our firm.

Many families experience some conflict, and sometimes that conflict can become physically or emotionally dangerous. The Court offers protection to victims of domestic violence through the issuance of either a criminal or civil Order of Protection. If you prefer to avoid the criminal courts, you can still get an Order from the Family Court. Whether such an Order is appropriate in any individual case depends on the facts and circumstances. Having legal representation, whether you feel that you are the victim or you have been accused of domestic violence is very helpful; our firm provides such representation.

Domestic violence is more than just physical violence. When a person does things to control someone else in an intimate relationship, it can become abusive. A shift in power can happen so slowly over time that the other person may not even remember when it happened; it can also happen quickly after some sort of commitment or a change in the relationship. Domestic violence can involve abuse or violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse.

Physical assaults are never appropriate, and the Court will intervene whenever an assault has occurred. The Courts have the power to exclude someone from the residence, exclude someone from any contact with a partner or children, and can also issue a more limited order restricting someone from certain behaviors. Not every Order of Protection requires that someone move out.

We can help you figure out what might work best in your situation. Contact us for a consultation if you want to explore your alternatives.

Other community resources for dealing with Domestic Disputes:

Family Services, Inc   24 Hour Hotline:  845-485-5550


29 North Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601

For Victims:  Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS)
CVSS provides 24 hour non-residential, comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.  They operate under the guidelines of a victim-centered approach, supporting victims’ rights, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination.

For Offenders:  Domestic Violence Offender Project (DVOP)

The DVOP is designed to work with domestic violence offenders in our community with the goal of reducing violence, recidivism, and interrupting the escalation of violence. The DVOP also provides a connection to case management services for offenders.  If you have been restricted from access to your children, this program might be helpful.

Grace Smith House: Shelter Services:  Hotline:  845-471-3033


All Grace Smith House services are free and confidential for victims of domestic violence.

Crisis Intervention: 24-hour crisis hotline to help victims assess their individual situation, assist in creating a safety plan for themselves and their children, and understand options available. Referrals and information about our services are available.
Counseling & Support Groups: Offer individual and group counseling for victims of domestic violence. Trained counselors facilitate groups for victims and survivors to help acknowledge their experiences of violence and learn non-violent methods of problem solving and communication.
Shelter: Grace Smith House operates secure emergency housing for individuals and their children, staffed and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Assistance with meals, transportation, employment, housing, and counseling services are provided.

NY State Coalition Against Domestic Violence:


The State And National Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers Are:
New York State Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline (English & español/Multi-language accessibility): 1-800-942-6906 or 711 for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
National Deaf Hotline Videophone 9am-5pm M-F 1-855-812-1001 or deafhelp@thehotline.org

LEARN ABOUT DIVORCE Free of charge on zoom. DIVORCE 101 WEBINAR:  What are the differences between mediation, collaboration and litigation?  Open to the Public Thursday, June 27, 2024, at 4:00 pm Call or email us to reserve a spot.RSVP Today