Civil Orders for Protection
(a) Restrain the offender/defendant from causing further violence to the victim/plaintiff, her dependents, other relatives and persons who give her assistance from domestic abuse;
(b) Instruct the defendant to vacate the family home, without in any way ruling on the ownership of such property;
(c) Instruct the defendant to continue to pay the rent or mortgage and to pay maintenance to the plaintiff and their common dependents;
(d) Instruct the defendant to hand over the use of an automobile and/or other essential personal effects to the plaintiff;
(e) Regulate the defendant’s access to dependent children;
(f) Restrain the defendant from contacting the plaintiff at work or other places frequented by the plaintiff;
(g) Upon finding that the defendant’s use or possession of a weapon may pose a serious threat of harm to the plaintiff, prohibit the defendant from purchasing, using or possessing a firearm or any such weapon specified by the court;
(h) Instruct the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s medical bills, counselling fees or shelter fees;
(i) Prohibit the unilateral disposition of joint assets;
(j) Inform the plaintiff and the defendant that, if the defendant violates the restraining order, he may be arrested with or without a warrant and criminal charges brought against him;
(k) Inform the plaintiff that, notwithstanding the use of a restraining order under domestic violence legislation, she can request the prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the defendant;
(l) Inform the plaintiff that, notwithstanding the use of a restraining order under domestic violence legislation, she can activate the civil process and sue for divorce, separation, damages or compensation;
(m) Conduct hearings in camera to protect the privacy of the parties.
The Framework also specifies that non-compliance with an ex parte restraining order shall result in criminal sanctions.
Promising Practice: India’s domestic violence law also includes a definition of “economic abuse:” (a) deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the aggrieved person is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a court or otherwise or which the aggrieved person requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance;
(b) disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property in which the aggrieved person has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the aggrieved person or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the aggrieved person; and
(c) prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the shared household.
The law also authorizes the magistrate to issue a protection order that also prohibits the perpetrator from “alienating any assets, operating bank lockers or bank accounts used or held or enjoyed by both the parties, jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent or singly by the respondent, including her stridhan or any other property held either jointly by the parties or separately by them without the leave of the Magistrate” (Article 18(e)).