Legal Options

Local Legal Assistance

South Carolina Legal Services
(843) 720-7044
Pro Bono Legal Services
(843) 853-6456

Using the Law to Help You

Obtain Protection or Restraining Orders.

  • Contact your local police department/victim advocate who can help you get a civil protection order and who can help you with criminal prosecution.
  • Ask for help in finding a lawyer.

In most places, a judge can:

  • Order the abuser to stay away from you or your children.
  • Order the abuser to leave your home.
  • Give you temporary custody of your children.
  • Order the abuser to pay you temporary child support.
  • Order the police to come to your home while the abuser picks up personal belongings.
  • Give you possession of the car, furniture and other belongings.
  • Order the abuser to go to a batterers intervention program.
  • Order the abuser not to call you at work.
  • Order the abuser to give guns to the police.

If you are worried about any of the following, make sure you:

  • Show the judge any pictures of your injuries.
  • Tell the judge that you do not feel safe if the abuser comes to your home to pick up the children to visit with them.
  • Ask the judge to order the abuser to pick up and return the children at the police station or some other safe place.
  • Ask that any visits the abuser is permitted are at very specific times so the police will know by reading the court order if the abuser is there at the wrong time.
  • Tell the judge if the abuser has harmed or threatened the children.
  • Ask that visits be supervised; think about who could do that for you.
  • Get a certified copy of the court order.
  • Keep the court order with you at all times

Criminal Proceedings

What to do at the hearing:

  • Show the prosecutor your court orders.
  • Show the prosecutor medical records about your injuries or pictures if you have them.
  • Tell the prosecutor the name of anyone who is helping you (a victim advocate or a lawyer).
  • Tell the prosecutor about any witnesses to injuries or abuse.
  • Ask the prosecutor to notify you ahead of time if the abuser is getting out of jail.