Protective Orders

What is a protective order?

A protective order is a civil court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family members from an abuser. Abusers who violate certain parts of a protective order can be arrested.

How can a protective order help me?

The purpose of a protective order is to prevent future assaults by your partner. The protective order will usually make it illegal for them to be near you, your children, your home, your workplace, and your children's school. Then you can call the police for help when they are where they are not supposed to be and the police can intervene before they assault you or your children again.

A protective order may order your abuser to:

  • Stop committing acts of family or dating violence.
  • Stop communicating with you or a family member.
  • Stop threatening you or a family member.
  • Stay away from your home or place of employment.
  • Stay away from a school or day center that a child protected under the order attends.
  • Complete a battering intervention and prevention program.
  • Attend mandatory counseling.
  • Not remove your child from your possession or from the jurisdiction of the court or to allow you visitation with your child.
  • Stop any transfer or disposal of property.
  • Stop any other behavior designed to harass, annoy, abuse, or embarrass you.
  • Pay child or spousal support for a period up to two years.
  • Leave your home or other specified property (if certain conditions are met).
  • Turn over any firearms in his/her possession to law enforcement (unless the person is a peace officer actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency).
  • Perform any other acts that are necessary to prevent or reduce the likelihood of family or dating violence.