Safeplace Crisis Hotline: 1-800-550-9215
Download Protection from Abuse Petition
(This form can be filled-out online and then printed out or they can printed out and then filled out. In order to view these forms, you need the Adobe Reader. A free Adobe Reader can be downloaded by clicking here.)
If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are ways for you to be helped. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that you DO NOT have to continue to be a victim of domestic violence.
You might find the answer that you need from one of the following telephone numbers or from the questions and answers below.
|District Attorney's Domestic
Violence Investigator (Ken Mays)
Crisis Hotline: 1-800-550-9215
|Marion County Sheriff's Department
||911 or (205) 921-7433
|Winston County Sheriff's Department
||911 or (205) 489-2115
|Addison Police Department
||911 or (256) 747-1981
|Arley Police Department
||911 or (205) 387-0103
|Bear Creek Police Department
||911 or (205) 486-4707
|Brilliant Police Department
||911 or (205) 465-2254
|Double Springs Police Department
||911 or (205) 489-5447
|Guin Police Department
||911 or (205) 468-2242
|Hackleburg Police Department
||911 or (205) 935-3133
|Haleyville Police Department
||911 or (205) 486-5775
|Hamilton Police Department
||911 or (205) 921-7424
|Winfield Police Department
||911 or (205) 487-4333
What are the warning signs of an abusive person?
- Controlling Behavior
— Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/said and where you went.
— Puts down everyone you know.
- Blames Others for Problems/Feelings
— It's always someone else's fault.
— Sees everything as personal attacks.
- Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Personality
— Sudden mood changes. One minute nice/next minute exploding.
- Past Battering
— You may hear the person was abusive to someone else, but they may say it's a lie, their ex was crazy, or it wasn't that bad.
- Any Force or Threat During Argument
- Doesn't Respect Your Property or Privacy
What should I do if someone I know is being abused?
What is a good safety plan for victims of domestic violence?
- Tell them it's not their fault
— You can never make someone else hurt you.
- Tell them they don't deserve to be hurt
— Explain that physical violence in a relationship is never acceptable.
- Tell them they are not crazy
— A person who has been abused often feels upset, depressed, confused, and scared.
- Don't try to pretend like the abuse isn't happening or that it isn't that bad
— Let your friend know you take it very seriously. Pretending it's no big deal doesn't make it go away.
- Tell them good things about themselves
— Let them know you think they are smart and brave. Their abuser is telling them they are stupid and tearing down their self-esteem.
- Encourage them to build a wide support system
— Go to a support group or talk to friends and family.
- Don't blame them for the abuse or their decisions
— Leaving an abusive relationship is hard and usually takes a long time.
- Give them good information about abuse
— You can call one of the resources above to get information and support.
- Determine a place you could go to be safe without endangering other family members. Safeplace is one option.
- Keep crisis line or law enforcement numbers handy.
- Pack a few items to leave with a trusted friend in case you need to get out:
- extra set of house and car keys
- emergency cash/checkbook
- essential medicine for self and children
- legal documents, copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, insurance policies, car title, social security cards for self and children, school and medical records
- a few items of clothing and toiletries
- anything of personal value (e.g. pictures)
- Remember — Get out safely. Don't tell anyone where you are going. Upon arrival you may tell others without revealing your location.
- Go directly to a police station or sheriff's department for assistance if you think that you are being followed.
- Never hesitate to call law enforcement. The can either make an arrest or assist with a safe departure.
Protection from Abuse procedure:
- What is a protection order?
— A "Protection Order", sometimes referred to as a "Restraining Order", is a court order issued under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFA) which provides limited protection for people who have been threatened, harassed, or physically abused. It can be sought against the victim’s spouse, former spouse, common-law or former common-law spouse, parent, child, blood relative, person with whom the victim has a child, or a present or former household member.
A Protection Order may be sought by the victim, if 19 years of age or older, or by a legally-responsible person on behalf of a minor or incapacitated adult. The person seeking the Protection Order will be referred to as "the plaintiff" throughout this brochure. While it is not necessary to have the assistance of an attorney, obtaining a Protection Order can have significant legal consequences, especially involving issues such as custody of children and property division. It is recommended that the plaintiff seek legal counsel to assist in this matter.
Where can I get a protection order?
— Protection Orders may be obtained at the county courthouse. The plaintiff must ask the court for a Protection Order either in the county where the victim lives or in the county where the victim has temporarily relocated to avoid further abuse. A Protection Order may be issued even if the victim does not have an ongoing court case against the defendant or the defendant does not have pending criminal charges arising from the abuse in the county where the victim lived. If there is a pending case, then the plaintiff must file for protection in the county in which the case is pending. It is recommended that the plaintiff file in the county in which the victim resides, if possible.
- How can I ask the court for a protection order?
— Standard court forms (Petitions) must be filed with the clerk to ask for a Protection Order. These forms are available in the clerk’s office in each county courthouse, or can be downloaded here. Neither the clerk nor members of a judge’s staff are required to provide assistance in completing the forms. They are not permitted to give legal advice. An attorney may be sought for assistance, or the plaintiff may contact the nearest domestic violence shelter.
It may be difficult for the plaintiff to provide written details of the abuse the victim has suffered, but it is important to answer the questions in the Petition and to provide as much detail as possible. If the defendant owns a firearm or other weapon and has threatened to use it to harm the victim, the court should be made aware of this fact. Additional paper may be used.
The completed Petition should be taken to the clerk’s office. The judge may or may not issue a Protection Order and set a date for a hearing before the plaintiff leaves the courthouse. If any temporary orders are signed by the judge, they are good only until the final hearing unless otherwise extended by the judge. They are not permanent orders!
Is there a charge for a protection order?
— No. A fee is not required to file a Petition with the court for a Protection Order.