Interviewer: Do clients sometime feel hesitant, and have doubts about moving forward when they want to file for a protective order or a stalking injunction?
Danielle Hawkes: I would say many of my clients still hesitant entering or asking for a protective order. These are people they love. Often times, the person who’s perpetrating the crimes are someone they love very much. Then maybe in a cycle that’s very difficult to get out of. It’s hard to know what’s up and what’s down, what’s right, what not right, what’s appropriate, what’s really gone beyond the bounds of appropriateness. Sometimes they wonder, maybe it won’t happen again. It’s the standard cycle of abuse sometimes that gets into play. A lot of my clients come in and really need someone to talk them through to know what’s appropriate.
I’ve seen so many of these cases that I really feel confident in telling clients that’s normal relationship stuff, or “No, this has gone way beyond normal relationship conflict.”
Attorneys Can Alleviate the Feeling of Stigma Attached to Filing for Protective Orders
Interviewer: Have you experienced where men feel hesitant to file against the woman sometimes, maybe out of pride, or something like that?
Danielle Hawkes: Absolutely that’s the case. The evidence shows that women are aggressive just as often as men are aggressors. Some evidence shows that women are more frequently the aggressor. There’s this social stigma with men coming in. There’s also a social stigma with LGBT clients coming in. Maybe they don’t know what the relationship, how their relationship is going to be treated. If you’re a lesbian couple, how will the judge treat your relationship? Especially if you’re someone down in Provo. How will a judge down in Provo treat your relationship as a gay man seeking help against another gay man? These are tricky question, and we’ve sought to handle those cases. We can help clients to get those answers.
In The Event of Being Harassed by the Petitioner of a Protective Order, It is Necessary to Seek Legal Recourse
Interviewer: If I’ve had a restraining order placed on myself, and the other person tries to harass me constantly, be it text, or Facebook, phone cools, how can they get in trouble? What’s going to happen to them?
Danielle Hawkes: Nothing. Nothing’s going to happen to them until you get a protective order against them.
Interviewer: You could do that?
Danielle Hawkes: Yes, you can. Again, it takes that very specific process. You can’t just go into the court and say “No, but he’s doing it.” You have to follow very specific process, but yes, you can get a protective order against the person, even though they have one against you as well. You just have to follow the process properly. by the time you get to the hearing, the court will want to see that you’ve followed the correct process. A lot of times lesbian, gay, transgender clients wonder if they’re protected by these laws. There’s a lot of news out there that LGBT people aren’t protected in our community. The bottom line is that we can protect LGBT people using any of these processes, so they should come in and talk to us. They’re just as important, and their health and safety is just as important as anyone else’s. Yeah, they are protected and we can help them.