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Physical “abuse” includes pushing, hitting, punching, strangling, biting, unwanted sexual acts, and other forms of “assault,” a legal term for an unwelcome physical contact that involves some injury or offensive touching.

It also includes verbal threats of physical abuse, made with the apparent ability to carry out the threats. If you do not belong to any of the above categories, but you would like to seek protection from the Courts you may file for a Peace Order in any District Court in Maryland (if you are eligible for a Protective Order, you are not eligible for a Peace Order, and vice-versa).

Some behaviors, while not physical and therefore not criminal, are part of an abuser’s controlling behavior.

This process allows individuals such as dating partners, neighbors, or a former friend of an abuser to petition the court for emergency protection.

A person may use the Peace Order to protect him or herself from abusers who are stalkers (regardless of whether that abuser is known to the victim) who target another person for harassment or abuse.

If the Respondent calls you to arrange to pick up his/her things, you can tell him/her to call the police.

They should accompany him/her to the home to pick up personal belongings.

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The Protective Order can instruct the abuser to stop committing the abusive act, to stay away from the Petitioner, his or her residence, school, child care and place of employment, and it can order use and possession of a jointly owned vehicle and payment of emergency family maintenance.

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