The Chesapeake courts have started offering Hope Cards, a new way for domestic abuse victims with protective orders to protect themselves. Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Larry Willis introduced the idea at a conference he attended earlier this Spring.
When a victim of abuse obtains a protective order, it is not always easy to have it on hand and present it in a timely manner if the need arises. If, for instance, an abuser violates the protective order and the victim contacts the police, by the time the protective order is presented, the abuser leaves.
To make it easier for victims to present their protective orders more quickly, those who have had a final protective order effective for 12 months can apply for a Hope Card.
Paper Protective Orders vs Hope Cards
These small plastic cards can fit in a purse or wallet in the same way a credit card is kept on someone’s person at all times, it can be quickly accessible, and is less susceptible to being torn or damaged after months or years of folding, re-folding, or jamming in pockets and purses.
Timeliness is very important in matters concerning domestic abuse. By introducing Hope Cards, the city hopes that it will allow victims to take appropriate action more quickly.