Domestic Violence Safety Planning pamphlet: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF
Victim-Witness Assistance Program pamphlet: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF
Georgia DHS Family Violence Resources
Georgia Commission on Family Violence
Women's Resource Ctr to End Domestic Violence
International Women's House
Ahimsa House (helping people and pets escape domestic violence)
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (V.I.N.E.)
Men Stopping Violence (MSV)
Domestic Violence Against Men-Know the Signs, MayoClinic
Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault
The Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault Unit receives all DeKalb County domestic violence and adult sexual assault cases including domestic violence homicides. The Unit provides assistance to police agencies who ask Unit employees to review investigative files in which no arrest warrants have been issued. This provides the District Attorney’s Office the opportunity to further its relationship with law enforcement agencies and to ensure that each victim’s case is given the proper attention.
In addition to giving these special cases the expertise, care and commitment they deserve, the Unit also assists and trains law enforcement officers, medical personnel and crisis counselors in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault and informs judges of current domestic violence and sexual assault law to aid in fair rulings and appropriate sentences.
What Constitutes "Family Violence"?
Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 19-13-1, "Family Violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household: (1) Any felony: or (2) Commission of offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-13-3, "Upon the filing of a verified petition in which the petitioner alleges with specific facts that probable cause exists to establish that family violence has occurred in the past and may occur in the future, the court may order such temporary relief ex parte as it deems necessary to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from violence."
What Constitutes "Stalking"?
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 16-5-90, "A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing, and intimidating the other person."
NOTE: It is not necessary for the parties to have lived together to obtain a TPO for stalking.
Are you being victimized by a Stalker? CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF TIPS FOR STALKING VICTIMS
What is a Temporary Protective Order (TPO)?
A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a civil order issued by a Superior Court Judge for the protection of victims of Family Violence or Stalking.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-13-4, a temporary protective order can:
- Direct a party to refrain from committing acts of family violence or stalking;
- Grant to a spouse possession of the residence or household of the parties and exclude the other spouse from the residence or household;
- Require a party to provide suitable alternative housing for a spouse, former spouse, or parent and the parties’ child or children;
- Award temporary custody of minor children and establish temporary visitation rights;
- Order the eviction of a party from the residence or household and order assistance to the victim in returning to it, or order assistance in retrieving personal property of the victim if the respondent’s eviction has not been ordered;
- Order either party to make payment for the support of minor children as required by law;
- Order either party to make payments for the support of a spouse as required by law;
- Provide for possession of personal property of the parties;
- Order a party to refrain from harassing or interfering with the other;
- Award costs and attorney’s fees to either party;
- Order the respondent to receive appropriate psychiatric or psychological services as a further measure to prevent the recurrence of family violence.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a TPO?
Before an application for a TPO can be made, an act of family violence or stalking must have occurred. The following parties are eligible to apply:
- Spouses (present or past)
- Parents of the same children
- Parents and children
- Step-parents and step-children
- Foster parents and foster children
- Persons living or formerly living in the same household
How is a TPO Obtained?
A victim (the petitioner) seeks relief under this article by filing a petition in Superior Court alleging one or more acts of family violence by the accused (the respondent). The respondent is the person who will be served the order to say away from the petitioner. The petitioner alleges with specific facts that probable cause exists to establish that family violence has occurred in the past and may occur in the future. The Court may order such temporary relief ex parte, or with respondent absent or unrepresented, as it deems necessary to protect the petitioner and or minor of the household from violence. A hearing date is set within 30 days of the petition in which the petitioner must prove the allegation by a preponderance of the evidence as in other civil cases.
There is no charge to apply for a TPO. Contact the Women's Resource Center at 404-688-9436 for legal advocate advice, emergency shelter, support groups, children educational services, etc.
The order must be filed in the county of residence of the batterer, and there must be a recent act of physical abuse or threats of violence. The only exception is if he/she lives out of state. Then the petition may be filed in the county in which the violent act occurred.
The victim must complete forms provided by the court clerks and must provide details about recent and past violent acts. The victim does not need an attorney to file, but can hire one if so desired. The Women’s Resource Center has advocates appointed by Superior Court who can assist victims in the filing of the civil action, and they offer a Family Law Clinic at the Center.
What Are Possible TPO Results:
The protective orders may direct a party to stay away, to refrain from such acts of violence, grant a spouse possession of the residence or household and exclude the other spouse to vacate the location, award temporary custody of minor children, provide for possession of personal property of the parties, and various other items the judge may feel necessary to protect and provide for the victim.
Other Important Victim Information:
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the service of TPOs; however, the victim should call 911 if in immediate danger. Police 911 can respond faster and can detain the subject until DKSO can arrive and serve the order.
The victim should have a certified copy of the order at all times. A copy of the order should be provided to the school or daycare of children at risk. The offender should be removed from the child’s approved school pick up list. (Note: The Superior Court Clerks Office, where the petitioner completes the TPO forms, will direct the petitioner to the Sheriff’s Office Court Division/Civil Process Unit to obtain notarized/certified copies of the order. The Sheriff’s Civil Process Unit is located on the ground floor of the courthouse.)
- When in court, the victim should tell one of the sheriff’s deputies if he or she feels unsafe with the batterer present. Every effort will be made to keep the victim safe. The batterer can even be prevented from sitting beside or near the victim. The deputies can detain the batterer in the courtroom for some time while the victim leaves.
- The victim should document (journal/log) if the batterer or respondent tries to make contact by phone, letters, cards, flowers and balloons, breaking into the home, or by following the victim. The victim should keep all evidence of violations such as photos, caller ID information, phone records, cards, letters, etc., and report these violations immediately to the police.
- The respondent will be subject to either civil or criminal consequences, depending on the nature of the violation.
Where Does the TPO Apply?
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 19-13-4 “A protective order issued shall apply and shall be effective throughout this state.”
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSISTANCE INFORMATION
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, PLEASE CALL 911
VICTIM INFORMATION AND NOTIFICATION EVERYDAY (VINE): 1-800-398-2916
DEKALB SHERIFF’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT: 404-298-8315 (Days) 404-298-8200 (Evenings)
- Temporary Protective Order (TPO) Service
- Criminal warrant apprehension
- Victim assistance/referrals
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSISTANCE LINE: 404-298-8324
WARRANT UNIT: 404-298-8200
CIVIL PROCESS UNIT: 404-371-2428
DEKALB WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER: 404-688-9436
- 24-hour crisis hotline
- Safe emergency shelter
- Children's program
- Community education
DEKALB RAPE CRISIS CENTER: 404-377-1428
DEKALB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: 404-371-2567
DEKALB COUNTY SOLICITOR –GENERAL’S OFFICE VICTIM / WITNESS PROGRAM: 404-371-2201
- Victim assistance
- Court dates/ court concerns/court safety
- State Court -criminal case status
MEN STOPPING VIOLENCE (FOR MEN): 404-688-1376
- Educational program for men to stop violence
CRIME VICTIM COMPENSATION (Office of the Governor): 1-800-338-6745
Compensation for qualified victims of assault including:
- Medical expenses
- Counseling expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Economic loss
GEORGIA COALITION ON FAMILY VIOLENCE: 1-800-33HAVEN (1-800-334-2836)
- 24-hour statewide access to free and confidential assistance
- Listings of domestic violence agencies in your community