It would obviously be nice if every family in Arizona and across the country routinely experienced nothing but upside and pure harmony.

We all know that family life is not universally blissful, though, and that any portrayal of it as such spells fantasy rather than reality. In some homes, violence occasionally — or, sadly, often — rears its ugly head. Consequences in extreme cases can be truly tragic.

Thankfully, relevant laws exist that address domestic violence and can be invoked to thwart it or ensure that it is not repeated.

In Arizona, an order of protection is one tool that is applied through the courts to help potential and actual victims of violence safeguard themselves and loved ones against third-party abuse. We note on our family law website at The Law Office of Katherine Kraus in Peoria that a protective order (sometimes referred to as a restraining order) is a court directive “designed to provide protection from physical harm caused by force from a family or household member.”

In a nutshell, an order is a command to an abuser to steer clear of all parties identified as needing protection. That generally equates to no contact of any type.

Of course, that order must allow for swift and meaningful action against an individual who violates it to be effective. That puts an onus on a victim to dutifully note and report every violation committed by an abuser. A violator can be held in contempt of court and potentially be fined, jailed and subjected to additional penalties.

It is a family law reality that home-based violence is both real and sometimes feigned or misrepresented to obtain an advantage in a matter such as child custody.

Questions concerning orders of protection and other violence-linked issues can be directed to a proven attorney who helps individuals legitimately seeking protection and persons believing that they are being taken advantage of in a family law matter, respectively.