A restraining or protective order is one of the main tools our society gives people to deal with abuse from a specific person. The order is used by the court to protect a person in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. The woman who fears her ex-husband is trying to kill her, the man who is being plagued by a crazy ex-girlfriend- the principal is the same- protect a person who has had their boundaries clearly disrespected and violated by someone from further abuse and harm.
But there’s a dark twist to this concept- it’s what we call the “Revenge Restraining Order” at our firm. And because we specialize in Orange County & Southern California divorce and family law matters complicated by narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and other mental illnesses that are often at the root of these sorts of devious ploys, it’s something we are unfortunately familiar with. Though we’d rather nobody ever had to deal with this, our experience has given us the wisdom to help our clients who have been the victim of a revenge restraining order respond with expert strategies.
What is a revenge restraining order?
A real restraining order is sought by someone who genuinely wants to protect themself and fears the other party will do them harm. A Revenge Restraining Order is something an abusive person seeks to hurt the other person, knowing inwardly no court order is really needed to stop the person they are trying to harm. Its a common tactic of narcissistic abuse. It’s a way for the guilty party to play the victim.
How do revenge restraining orders hurt innocent people?
Some might argue if someone is truly innocent, it shouldn’t matter if someone gets a revenge restraining order against them. That’s hardly true. If your abuser is successful in their ploy to get a revenge restraining order, at a bare minimum they’ll be able to tarnish your good name. Many people will just assume the worst about someone who has been stuck with a restraining order. You could be a completely harmless person but your narcissistic or crazy ex may tell mutual friends, people involved with your children, and others totally made-up stories about you that the existence of a revenge restraining order that has been rubber-stamped by the courts will seem to verify!
It gets even more devious from there. A psychopathic or narcissistic abusive person could even try to do worse, like stalking and following you and then calling the cops, so it looks like you’ve stalked them and violated the restraining order! You could end up arrested and in jail.
What do I do to protect myself?
First of all, document everything you can as soon as you suspect you could ever be the victim of something like this. Anything you can document that shows the true nature of the relationship to prove you are the one in danger will help. Second, if you are in Southern California, get in touch with our firm today. If you are somewhere else, look for an experienced family law attorney who specializes (like we do) in divorce and family law matters complicated by extreme personalities and mental illnesses.
Our Firm Specializes in Southern California Divorces Complicated by Narcissism and other Mental Illnesses. Do you have a divorce or family law question?
Call our office today at (949) 363-5551. We specialize in helping clients who have divorce and family law matters complicated by gaslighting, narcissism, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation. to learn more.
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