Domestic Violence Abuse FAQ
Q: WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence occurs when a person uses physical or psychological abuse, threats, intimidation, or harassment to control another person in a family, dating, household.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM ABUSED?
You may file a complaint if the abuser's acts constitute a crime. You also may request an order of protection and seek help from one of various agencies that offer free or low-cost services to victims of domestic violence.
Q: WHAT IS AN ORDER OF PROTECTION?
It is an order prohibiting the abuser from threatening or harassing you. It also may grant you temporary possession of your children and your home.
Q: DO I QUALIFY FOR AN ORDER PROTECTION?
You qualify if the abuser is your spouse, ex-spouse, or anyone else to whom you are related by marriage or prior marriage. You also qualify if the abuser is someone with whom you have had a child, with whom you live or have lived.
Q: HOW DO I FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT?
Contact the police immediately and ask them to make out a report. Depending on the circumstances, the police may arrest the abuser. If no arrest is made, ask the police to explain how you can begin the criminal process or contact the County Attorney’s Office at the courthouse to arrange an appointment.
Q: HOW LONG WILL THE ORDER OF PROTECTION BE IN EFFECT?
The order of protection that you obtain at your initial court appearance usually will last up to one (1) year or until otherwise modified by the Judge.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO IF THE ORDER IS VIOLATED?
Call the police immediately. The abuser may be arrested and charged with the additional offense of violating the order of protection. (It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order in a safe place so you can show it to the police in case of a violation.)
Q: IF CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC ASSAULT, WHAT PENALTIES WILL THE ABUSER FACE?
Criminal penalties vary depending on the specific charges and circumstances. Sentences may include probation, BEP, court supervision, community service, counseling, or a jail or prison term.
Q: HOW DO I DROP A NO CONTACT ORDER ISSUED IN A CRIMINAL CASE?
Attend one (1) session with an advocate, bring a letter signed by the counselor stating you have done this and are aware of services; and present to the Judge at Order Hour. The judge has the final say as to whether or not the No Contact Order will be modified or lifted.
Q: WHEN CAN I MEET WITH A JUDGE ABOUT THE NO CONTACT ORDER?
Typically Order hour is Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:30 PM on the first floor (1st) of the Black Hawk County Courthouse.
Q: WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
County Attorney’s Office
316 East 5th Street, B-1 Courthouse Building, Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Domestic Abuse Response Team
715 Mulberry Street,
Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Batterer’s Education Program
P.O. Box 1725 Dubuque, Iowa 52004
Phone: 1-800-485-8151 OR: 319-485-8151