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Married an abusive/angry person. Got a restraining order against them. A long time ago, I threatened that if th ever cheated..

Portland, OR |

I would poison them! Not a good thing to do but it was just an idle threat. Wanted to emphasize how distasteful infidelity is to me. Individual is now here and has been abusive. I attempted to make them more sensible so I began to state what people do in relationships, the boundaries they cross and clearly stated I would never cross these boundaries. A boundary that I would not cross is hiring anyone to kill. The abuser twisted this to mean that I intended to do this. A time or two, I lost it and pulled hair/scratched person in the process of trying to get something belonging to me. They abused me to the point of drawing blood. Will I be looked at as the abuser for these minor offenses? Over the years I was left bruised bleeding. I could never have done in kind & survived!

Reason for the question is that I believe abuser is going to lie & make themselves out to be the ABUSED. However, they won't have told their lawyer that for 6 years they abused and got away with it! They even laugh saying I lost my opportunity to have them arrested because they now know they can be arrested (Rest. Ord. should have been ordered in Oct, Nov. but I was too afraid!) They will say that I screamed at them using bad lg., pulled their hair and pushed them maybe. They won't admit their abuse & how they state that I deserved it. Respon. is contesting rest. order. A threat to chop me into little pieces will not be taken seriously? Pulling hair and scratching out of some frustration a handful of times will speak to my being the abuser? They can't produce pix of abuse as I presently have. I have never violently attacked them or I would be either dead or an invalid by now. My physical strength and anger are no match to theirs!

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Attorney answers 2


Not sure what your question is. Is this an issue about the abuser trying to rescind the restraining order you got? There is way too much in here that sounds like you are still entangled emotionally. Trying to show them how to behave and that you have the upper hand or something like that. In situations where people get into abusive relationships there is a really complex psychology driving the person to seek out these types of abusive dysfunctional personalities - even though they aren't conscious that they are doing this. It really helps to get some understanding of your own emotional needs and insecurities that may have led you into this relationship and which may also be shaping your thoughts and concerns now. There are lots of books on the dynamics of codependency that may help. Try doing some reading. I know this isn't what you are seeking to hear - but this is a way to gain clarity and focus which will help you set your priorities for any legal battles.

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman


On second reading I now see that it is you being concerned about them raising your behavior to justify lifting the restraining order. This is really up to the Judge and the primary test is whether the abuser is posing a danger to you. Many judges will continue the restraining order if there is concern for someone in your position regardless of what you might have done or said. In fact these types of situation where both parties have done things is pretty common. The main thing to focus on is whether or not you are in danger. Also if you are in danger you need to get away from this person - you can't let them back into your life and you may need to read some materials like I suggested and get some counseling and go to a support group to relaly make the break. It is common that abused people return again and again to their abusers and this is how a percentage of the abused people end up dying. The facts above are not going to shock a judge experienced in domestic violence matters. There are I believe advocates at the courthouse for domestic violence victims. Check and see if there are advocates that you can talk to. Please go to this web page: There have a phone line that is answered 24/7. Call and talk to someone. It should help you put things in perspective.


It's not clear from the question what kind of legal case, if any, is involved here. In the absence of a specific legal controversy - that is, one with a case number, on file with the court, with a pending hearing - it doesn't matter who believes who about what.

Another question posted on this board at about the same time as this one leads me to believe that this is about a restraining order hearing; though it's not clear who filed for an order against whom (or even if each of you has filed for one against the other; we call this "dueling FAPAs" in the business). So let me talk about this law, in general terms. We can't possibly evaluate how strong anyone's case is without personally reviewing the evidence.

There are two main kinds of restraining orders under Oregon law: Restraining orders under the Family Abuse Prevention Act; and Stalking Protective Orders.

You can ask the court for a restraining order under the Family Abuse Prevention Act (a "FAPA order") if, within the previous 180 days, you have been physically harmed, threatened with physical harm, or forced to engage in sexual acts against your will. The perpetrator can be any person in your family or any person with whom you've had a sexual relationship in the past two years, or any co-parent of your child. If you've been subjected to such violence by someone who doesn't fit that description, you may instead qualify for a Stalking Protective Order.

You can ask the court for a Stalking Protective Order against any person who has repeatedly (two or more times) had contact with you that made you fear for your safety, or the safety of a family member. That fear must be objectively reasonable, as determined by a judge.

In both cases, the order can only be based on abuse that happened within the past 180 days. Things from years past can lend context to those incidents, but don't count themselves as instances of abuse.

Once the respondent is served with the order, they have the right to request a hearing. This is done by filing a form with the court, within 28 days of being served. The court must schedule a hearing within 14 days of the request, or 7 days if child custody is affected. At this hearing, the person asking for the order (the petitioner) must show that the allegations in the petition are true. But they only must show this by a preponderance of the evidence - a greater than 50% chance.

A restraining order petition is a lawsuit, and entitles both sides to legal discovery and the right to counsel. If you have been subjected to violence or served with a restraining order, you should consult with an attorney immediately.

In practice, these cases tend to be contests in credibility and reasonableness. If you sound hysterical and angry - if you insist that everything the other person is saying is a lie - if you sound like you can't possibly imagine how anyone could see the other person's side of things - you have a much worse chance than if you speak calmly, present your evidence, and let the court make its decision.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: | Online:

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