Getting a restraining order is a great tool for protection as well as documenting the abuse. As with all tools it is only effective when you use it correctly. It takes a lot of courage to get a restraining order and there are a lot of things that people do not know about restraining orders that are in place for their protection. Speaking Out Safely wants to walk you through the process. Ultimately we want to create a series of seminars and training materials however to do that we need YOU. Please donate and help a victim walk through the process of getting a restraining order.
While we’re building our programs we want to make sure you have some resources for dealing with restraining orders. If you need help or support with getting a restraining order contact us immediately. If you are just looking for some simple information on restraining orders please see our list of the top five things to know about a restraining order (below).
Top 5 Things to Know About Restraining Orders
- When you decide you need a restraining order you can get what is called a temporary restraining order (TRO) at ANYTIME. The person you’re getting the restraining order against (the defendant) does not need to be present for your TRO. However there will be a hearing shortly after the TRO to see if it will become permanent (generally they will last for a year and can be renewed) and the defendant is entitled to be present at that hearing.
- The most common violations of a restraining order (even a TRO) happen at the courthouse. Just because both parties are at court for a hearing does not give the defendant the right to approach or talk to you. If the defendant does attempt to communicate with you please go to the nearest courthouse employee and ask for the District Attorney’s Office. Explain what happened and the DA’s office will send someone to arrest the defendant for violating the restraining order.
- It is also a violation for any of the defendant’s friends or family members to communicate with you on the defendant’s behalf. If that happens contact the police immediately and report the violation of the restraining order.
- The requirement to receive a restraining order is that there is an imminent threat on your safety. It is not often to be afraid that the defendant might do something at some unknown point in the future. If you are unsure about whether to go forward or you need a better explanation please contact us immediately.
- You can file for a restraining order AS MANY TIMES as you need to. They are a tool to protect your safety. Just because a judge decided at a certain point in time that you were not in imminent danger does not mean that you are never going to be in imminent danger. Circumstances change, things escalate. Never feel afraid to get another restraining order. If you have questions or concerns please contact us.