Learn about Abuse
UPDATED February 11, 2016
Here at WomensLaw.org, in addition to making sure that our existing information is up-to-date, we add new information to our website to give you another reason to keep coming back. If you have a suggestion for something you would like to see added to our site, or to let us know about a page that needs to be updated, email us at Stacey@WomensLaw.org.
What's new in February 2016?
What's new in January 2016?
What's new in December 2015?
- We improved our Information for Teens page in English and Spanish.
- We translated into English our recently revised Protection Orders section for Puerto Rico, in which we made multiple changes based on revisions to the state laws. Previously, this page was only in Spanish.
- We added the crime of Distribution of intimate images without or against consent to our North Dakota Crimes page and Statutes page.
- We added the crimes of stalking in the first degree and stalking in the second degree to our Kentucky Crimes page.
- We significantly edited our Washington State Gun Laws page and added relevant statutes to our WA Statutes page.
- A new law became effective in October 2015 in North Carolina, which created a civil no contact order for victims of sex offenses where the offender was convicted of the offense in criminal court and ordered to register as a sex offender. WomensLaw.org added the 11 relevant statutes to our NC Statutes page along with a note to our website visitors to explain that a new page will soon be created.
- We added new information in Spanish and English to the question Can I get my child's medical expenses included in the order? in our North Carolina Child Support section based on a clarification in North Carolina's laws regarding what is a "reasonable cost" for health coverage for a child. We also updated various other questions on the North Carolina Know the Laws pages based on other statutory changes.
- We translated all of our newly-updated New York State and Local Programs into Spanish (114 records!)
- We added a new statute that became effective December 1, 2015 to our North Carolina Statutes page and Crimes page called Disclosure of private images.
- We added a new statute to our Montana Statutes page and Crimes page called surreptitious visual observation or recordation.
- We revised the information in Spanish and English in How can I tell if my friend is in an abusive relationship? on our Information for Teens page.
- We updated our Missouri Restraining Orders pages based on changes to Missouri law that allows victims of sexual assault to get orders of protection. We also added the crime of parental kidnapping and the defense to parental kidnapping to our Missouri Crimes page and Missouri Statutes page.
- Based on recent changes to Minnesota laws, we changed all of the information on our Minnesota Custody page and we added a new question called Can the non-custodial parent have access the child's medical, health, and school records?
- We added a new law to our Louisiana Statutes page regarding possession of firearms when there is a protective order in place and we added new "plain-language" information about this to the following questions in the State Gun Laws and Protective Orders (for Domestic Abuse) sections, respectively: I have a protective order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? and How can a protective order help me?
- We added 4 new statutes to our Louisiana Statutes page related to Louisiana's new sexual assault protective orders. Next, we will create a new page in our Know the Laws section to explain the laws in "plain language." Check back at the end of December to see the new page!
- We added a new crime to our Maine Statutes page and Crimes page called the Unauthorized dissemination of certain private images, which was added to Maine law in October 2015.
- We updated all of the non-legal organizations (more than 100 of them!) that are listed on our New York State and Local Programs page, adding descriptions of the services offered for every listing and adding many new listings.
- We edited and updated our LGBTQ Victims page (formerly the Same-Sex Abuse page).
- In response to recent Email Hotline inquiries, we added 3 new statutes to our NY Statutes page regarding the laws on registering an out-of-state custody order in New York and 1 new statute to our CA Statutes page related to parental kidnapping. We also added a question to our California Parental Kidnapping page in English and Spanish to explain the statute, called If I take my children to live out of state or hide them from the other parent, can I be charged with parental kidnapping?
What's new in November 2015?
- We updated the Colorado Download Court Forms page in English and Spanish.
- We updated the contact information for legal resources listed on our South Dakota Finding a Lawyer page and added 6 new legal services organizations to the page. We also updated the links to outside information on our South Dakota Custody page.
- Continuing towards our goal of translating the whole state of Washington, we translated the Washington Custody page into Spanish!
- We created a new section to our Maine Know the Laws section - check out our Maine Housing Laws page! We also added the relevant statutes to our Maine Statutes page.
What's new in October 2015?
What's new in September 2015?
- We updated the information on how Salon Professionals can help victims of domestic violence, under our Helping Others tab.
- We created a new Louisiana Sexual Assault Protective Order page.
- We translated into Spanish our Illinois Stalking No Contact Orders page and our Illinois Civil No Contact Orders (for Victims of Sexual Assault).
- We updated our Maine Know the Laws pages based on recent changes to Maine laws. For example, we added new reasons why a person can be prohibited from having a firearm in our State Gun Laws pages; we added information about suing an abuser for damages to rental property in our Suing Your Abuser page; we added information about financial exploitation to our Protection from Abuse Orders (for the elderly/dependent/incapacitated); and we added 5 new crimes to our Crimes page and ME Statutes page.
- We updated our Louisiana Protective Orders (for Domestic Abuse) pages based on changes in Louisiana laws, adding new information to What types of protective orders are there? How long do they last? and to What can I do if the abuser violates the order? We also created a new question in our Protective Orders (for Stalking) page called What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
- We added information to our Oregon Sexual Abuse Protective Orders page.
- We added a new question to our Kentucky Custody page called If my child was conceived from sexual assault, can the offender get custody or visitation?
- We updated our Kansas Custody section based on recent legislative changes, including augmenting the question How will a judge make a decision about custody, residency, and parenting time?
- We translated into Spanish the restraining order information for the state of Washington including: WA Domestic Violence Orders for Protection (DVOP), WA Sexual Assault Protection Orders, WA Stalking Protection Orders and WA Civil Anti-Harassment Orders.
- We added a new section to our Iowa Restraining Orders page called Protective Orders (Based on Elder Abuse).
- Based on changes to D.C. law, we updated our D.C. State Gun Laws page.
- Based on changes to Arkansas law, we updated and improved our Arkansas State Gun Laws page, in English and Spanish.
- We substantially revised our Georgia State Gun Laws page, updating and rewriting the information we had in that section.
- We revised our Washington, D.C. Restraining Orders and Custody pages, updating the information we had in those sections.
- We substantially revised our Washington Custody page, improving the information we had and adding a new section called The effect of military deployment on custody/visitation. Our next step is to translate it into Spanish!
- We translated into Spanish all of the legal and non-legal resources and courthouse information on our Oklahoma Where to Find Help page, which includes more than 150 records.
What's new in August 2015?
- We updated all of the legal and non-legal resources and courthouse information on our Oklahoma Where to Find Help page.
- We have begun to translate all of the information for an additional state, Washington! So far, we translated all of the sections in our Restraining Orders page, which includes Domestic Violence Orders for Protection page, the Sexual Assault Protection Orders page, the Civil Anti-Harassment Orders page, and the Stalking Protection Orders page.
- We added information to the Civil No Contact Orders page on our Illinois Restraining Orders section and added several additional statutes related to civil no contact orders to our IL Statutes page.
- We added information to the question How can a restraining order help me? on our Connecticut Restraining Orders page based on a 2015 change to the law, which allows the judge to order additional protections in temporary and permanent restraining orders.
- We updated all of the legal and non-legal resources in Spanish and English on our Arkansas Where to Find Help page. In addition, we added 5 new organizations that provide services to domestic violence victims and survivors on our AR State and Local Programs page and 2 new legal resources on our AR Finding a Lawyer page.
- We updated our California Housing Laws section in English and Spanish to reflect a recent change in the law that requires a victim who is terminating his/her lease to pay rent only for the next 14 days instead of 30 days.
- We updated a few questions on our Arizona State Gun Laws page based on legislative changes to include two more legal reasons why a person might be prohibited from having a gun in his/her possession. We also changed information on our Arizona Custody page to reflect changes in the law regarding relocation of a child. All changes were made in English and Spanish.
- We added additional cyberstalking resources to our Stalking/Cyberstalking page in English and Spanish.
- We updated our Arkansas Domestic Violence Orders of Protection section in Spanish and English based on amendments to Arkansas law; changes include adding in-laws as a possible family or household member against whom an order of protection can be sought. We added the new crime in Arkansas called Unlawful distribution of sexual images or recordings to our Crimes page and our AR Statutes pages.
- After being contacted by NIWAP to add them as a resource to WomensLaw.org, we added the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project (NIWAP), both in English and Spanish, to our Helping Others page, under the Lawyers section.
What's new in July 2015?
- We updated all of the resources in Washington on our Finding a Lawyer page.
- We created a new section in Washington called Stalking Protection Orders.
- We updated all the legal and non-legal resources in Spanish and English on our Washington, DC Where to Find Help page. In addition, we now have 5 new organizations on our DC State and Local Programs and 5 new legal resources on our DC Finding a Lawyer page.
- We updated the contact information and added descriptions for the 39 organizations that provide services to domestic violence victims and survivors on our Arkansas State and Local Programs page.
- We added a new Danger Assessment page in our Learn About Abuse section, where users can learn more about some of the factors that indicate a victim is at greater risk of being seriously injured or killed by an abuser.
- We revised the information on our Same-Sex Abuse page in English and Spanish and re-wrote two of the questions called: What does LGBTQ mean? and How common is domestic violence in the LGBTQ community?
- We re-wrote and greatly improved the content of the Washington Domestic Violence Orders for Protection page, the Sexual Assault Protection Orders page, and the Civil Anti-Harassment Orders page and created the Stalking Protection Orders page.
- We expanded our New Hampshire Stalking Protective Orders page, going from one question to seven. Check it out!
- We added a new question to our Ohio Domestic Violence Protection Orders page called Can I file for a protection order against a minor?
- Based on changes to Minnesota laws, we added new information to our Minnesota Orders for Protection page, Harassment Restraining Orders page, and State Gun Laws page, including a new question entitled What will happen to the abuser's firearms if the judge includes a firearm restriction in my order for protection?
- We revised our Marital / Partner Rape page in English and Spanish, improving the content and updating the statistics regarding the occurrence of sexual coercion/rape within intimate relationships.
- We added the crime of "Malicious or unlawful assault; assault; battery" to the West Virginia Crimes page.
- Based on statutory changes to Alabama law that took effect in June 2015, we updated almost all of the Know the Laws sections in Alabama, adding new questions and revising others. We also added two new statutes to the Alabama Statutes page.
- Inspired by an Email Hotline inquiry, we just added a new section to our Oregon pages about the Housing Laws that protect victims of stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence.
What's new in June 2015?
- We improved the Alabama Finding a Lawyer page, updating all of the current listings, adding descriptions of services, and adding 4 new legal organizations to the list.
- We updated all of the Illinois State and Local Programs (more than 60 of them), adding descriptions of services provided and additional programs - we also translated them all into Spanish.
- We translated the Housing Laws sections in Arkansas and Arizona into Spanish.
- With the help of the Puerto Rico Coalition, Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer, we were able to update all of the 100 legal and non-legal resources that we list on our Where to Find Help pages for victims and survivors of Puerto Rico. In addition, we now have 17 new State and Local Programs and 19 new resources on our Finding a Lawyer page.
- We added the crime of custodial interference to our Oregon Crimes page.
- In response to an inquiry on the Email Hotline, we added a new question in Spanish and English to our VAWA Laws for Abuse Victims page called Can I file for a VAWA self-petition if I am in another country?
- At the suggestion of people who wrote to us, we added a new resource to our National Organizations page, in Spanish and English, for Take Back the Night Foundation and the Support, Advocacy & Resource Center to our Washington Local Programs page. We also updated and translated into Spanish all of the resources on Finding a Lawyer page in California (78 of them!) in English and Spanish.
What's new in May 2015?
What's new in April 2015?
- Check out our overhauled Choosing and Working with a Lawyer page! We re-wrote most of the sections, adding new information, and improving the overall content and translated the new page into Spanish.
- We improved our Sexual Harassment in the Workplace page in English and Spanish.
- We updated the sheriff department listings (in English and Spanish) on our Where to Find Help page in the following states: MA, NJ, NM, WA, FL, NY, OK, PA, TX, NC, IL, GA, CO, AR. More states to come!
What's new in March 2015?
What's new in February 2015?
- We edited the Oklahoma State Gun Laws section, refining the information we had and adding new information to two questions, in both English and Spanish.
- We added the crime of "Revenge porn prohibited" to our Maryland Crimes page and Maryland Statutes page, based on the addition of this law by the Maryland Legislature at the end of 2014.
- We updated all of the legal resources on our New Mexico Finding a Lawyer page and added 12 new resources. All updates and additions were made in English and Spanish.
- We added a new section to our National Organizations page called Posting Sexual Images without Consent/"Revenge Porn" and listed in it the non-profit resource called the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project.
- In our Louisiana Suing Your Abuser section, we added links to 13 different city or county small claims courts since filing fees vary in each city. We also added two new crimes to our Louisiana Crimes page.
- We added a new section to our Tennessee Custody section called The effect of military deployment on custody/visitation.
- We added 6 new crimes to our Utah Crimes page.
- We revised our California Parental Kidnapping page and added the crime of Deprivation of custody or right to visitation to our Crimes page (in English and Spanish) and to our CA Statutes page.
- We added brief information to our California Suing Your Abuser page in Spanish and English about the tort of stalking and linked to the language of the law on our CA Statutes page.
- Continuing with our translation of all of our Georgia content, we translated the Georgia Crimes page into Spanish.
- We added the Spanish translation of our New Jersey Housing Laws page, Colorado Housing Laws page, and Texas Housing Laws page.
What's new in January 2015?
- Based on a new law that became effective in Pennsylvania in September 2014, we added information to our Suing Your Abuser page about a victim's right to sue someone who disseminates intimate images of him/her (in Spanish and English).
- We added the Spanish translation of our Crimes pages in North Carolina, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
- We added a new section to our Pennsylvania Custody section called The effect of military deployment on custody/visitation, in Spanish and English.
- As we make our way through translating our Georgia Know the Laws pages into Spanish, we just completed the translation (and reorganization) of our Georgia Custody page.
- We revised and expanded our Injunction Against Workplace Violence section in Arkansas, in Spanish and English.
What's new in December 2014?
- We completed another step on our way to translating all of the legal information for Georgia. We just completed the Spanish translation of the Stalking Protection Orders page (here) and the Bond for Good Behavior page (here). More to come soon!
- WomensLaw added two new sections to our Illinois Restraining Orders page: Stalking No Contact Orders and Civil No Contact Orders (for Victims of Sexual Assault). We plan to expand these sections, especially the latter one, to make them more comprehensive in the coming months.
What's new in November 2014?
- We revised our Georgia Stalking Protective Orders page and added new information to our Georgia Bond for Good Behavior page. We also added 4 additional crimes to our Georgia Crimes page.
- We are thrilled to begin translating into Spanish the information in the Know the Laws section for a new state, Georgia. We just completed the Spanish translation of the Family Violence Protection Orders page - you can check it out here. More to come soon!
- We revised the Puerto Rico Orders of Protection for the Elderly page in Spanish and added the English translation of the page.
- We translated into Spanish the recently-added section to our New Mexico page, which, in English, is called Civil Restraining Orders (for harassment or other harm).
- We improved our Ohio Domestic Violence Protection Orders page, re-writing various questions, and adding new statutes to our OH Statutes page to correspond with the new information added on the protection orders page.
What's new in October 2014?
What's new in September 2014?
What's new in August 2014?
What's new in July 2014?
- We updated and enhanced the links to outside sources for every state in which we do not have a full divorce section (more than 40 states)! This is an improvement we have been hoping to make for a while and are excited it is completed.
- We added a new Divorce section for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Colorado law added certain custody provisions for women who conceived a child due to a sexual assault. We updated our Colorado Custody page to reflect the changes in the laws regarding allocation of parental responsibilities. We also added a new question called If my child was conceived due to a sexual assault, can the offender/parent's rights to the child be terminated?
What's new in June 2014?
- New Yorkers who have an order of protection will want to read the new question we added to our NY Orders of Protection page regarding the fact that a victim cannot violate his/her own order of protection. We also overhauled the entire page to make it more concise and easier to read.
- We added new links to outside sources on our Louisiana Custody page.
- We clarified some information in our Maine Protection from Abuse Orders section to add information regarding the right of a victim of sexual assault or stalking to apply for a protection from abuse order, regardless of who the perpetrator is. We also took a fresh look at the whole section, making substantial edits. Check it out!
- We added a lot of new information to the question on our Maine State Gun Laws page.
- We added new links to outside sources on our Wyoming Divorce page.
What's new in May 2014?
- Check out our new and improved Harassment Restraining Orders section in Minnesota.
- We added a new section to our Massachusetts Know the Laws section called Housing Laws. The section briefly covers the law that was passed in 2013, which allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in MA to terminate their lease/rental agreement and/or to get their locks changed. We hope to expand the section this Fall.
- Based on a law passed in April 2014, we added information to our Iowa Protective Orders page regarding protection for pets in protective orders. See How can a protective order help me? to read more about it.
- We re-wrote and augmented the question on our Delaware Custody page called If a custody/visitation order is in place, how can I get it changed?
- We revised all of the information on our Kentucky State Gun Laws page and we updated and enhanced the links to outside sources on our Kentucky Divorce page.
What's new in April 2014?
- We updated the information and improved the links to outside sources for our West Virginia Custody page, our South Dakota Custody page, and our Idaho Custody page.
- We revised the information and links to outside sources on our Nebraska Divorce page, Kansas Divorce page and Massachusetts Divorce page.
- We revised some of the information on our Kansas Protection from Abuse Orders page to make it easier to read.
What's new in March 2014?
- We updated the links to information from outside sources on our divorce page for Utah.
- WomensLaw added brief info about Oregon's new Sexual Assault Protective Orders, which became effective on 1/1/14. We also added the newly-created statutes to our OR Statutes page. Please check back in the Summer of 2014 when we hope to have a whole new section on the website devoted to SAPOs.
What's new in February 2014?
- We re-wrote the question "Where can I find more information about custody in Indiana?" on our IN Custody page and we updated/improved the links to outside sources on our back to top