Glossary of Terms

The defendant is the person against whom a petition for a protective order has been filed. The defendant may ask for a hearing in order to defend himself or herself.

Also called “quashed.” An order is dismissed when a judicial officer removes the Order of Protection or the Injunction Against Harassment. Note: Only the court can dismiss an order. Even if the plaintiff and the defendant agree that the order should be dismissed, it is legally valid and enforceable until a judicial officer issues an order dismissing it.

Domestic violence is not just physical violence. It can include behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Different forms of domestic violence or abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship. Domestic violence is any behavior the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend, or intimate family member.