Over a year ago I had a brief relationship with a person in my department. Lasted a month, didn't violate any company policies. I ended it and asked them to leave me alone unless professionally necessary. They didn't take the breakup well OR honor my request. Since that time, aggressive/unwanted behaviors toward me have slowly escalated. HR is "involved" (one meeting), but until recently there was no clear violation, just persistent nuisances, so they wouldn't do anything. Last week this person, who was instructed to respect a certain distance, cornered me in a public area of the building blocking my path. I am now officially afraid for my safety. I clearly can't put off legal action any longer but I don't know where to start. Thank you for any advice/help you can give.
You need a professional to help you. So far (THANK GOODNESS!) there has been no violence, so the police won't be any help. HR can tell him to keep a distance, but "or else what?"
Depending on the facts, there could be family violence involved. Family Violence is a legal term defined in section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code. Section 71.004(3) tells us that "dating violence" is included in the definition of "family violence." Section 71.0025 defines "dating violence" to mean "is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault." Tex. Family Code § 71.0021(a)(2).
So, to get the DA to prosecute him for family violence, you'd have to convince the police that his actions were **INTENDED** to place you in fear of imminent physical harm. I don't think he did that. Usually "fear of imminent physical harm" means words combined with some actions. Here are two examples:
(1) A calls B over the phone and says, "The next time I see you, I'm going to pound your face." The way the law sees things, this is just trash talk and no legal action is going to be taken.
(2) A walks up to B and says, "I'm about to pound your face" while at the same time walking toward B with a drawn back fist. This would put a reasonable person on fear of imminent physical harm.
So, as useless as HR departments can be, yours may be your best bet at this point. This is all about facts, so you might want to go to the police and lay all your facts out to check my analysis against their standards.
Sorry to hear that. File a HR complaint, file a police report to document. This organization may be of help to you and answer many of your questions. http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?statelaw_name=Restraining%20Orders&state_code=TX
I agree with the other lawyer answering this question. I am not sure this is domestic violence --at least I cannot tell that from the information provided. If this person is threatening you --meaning a terroristic threat or a threat to do something to you that they have no legal right to do--then it may constitute domestic violence. I agree you should file a complaint with HR and file a police report. If it does not rise to the level of domestic violence in terms of seeking a protective order, you may still be in a situation with stalking or harassment laws apply. Those are not within the scope of family law, but HR or the police may be able to assist. You may also consider doing an intake with your local womens' shelter in case it escalates farther and you need a safe refuge. Good Luck!
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