Protective Orders

What is a Protective Order?

A Protective Order is a court-issued legal order that may order an abuser not to contact you, abuse you, harass you, or visit your home or workplace. It may also provide for temporary child custody or support.

Protective Order


Must meet one of these criteria:

  • Married or divorced
  • Live or lived together
  • Have a child or unborn child together
  • Related by blood or marriage

Must be a victim of physical abuse:

  • Actual physical harm
  • Verbal threats of physical harm
  • Attempts or threats to cause physical harm

Duration:  Permanent unless further action is taken by the petitioner at any time or respondent after two years.

If violated:

  • Criminal Charge: Violation of a Protective Order, Class A Misdemeanor
  • Repeated offences may be 3rd degree Felony
Child Protective Order


  • Petitioner must make a referral to DCFS
  • Child must be a victim of physical or sexual abuse

Duration:  Valid for up to 150 days

If violated:

  • Criminal Charge: Protective Order Violation, Class A Misdemeanor
  • Enhanced penalties may be imposed on subsequent offenses

Any interested adult party may file a petition for a Child Protective Order (you do not have to take or have custody of the child)

Dating Violence Protective Order


  • Must be emancipated or over 18
  • Must have dating relationship: never married/ divorced, cohabited, or otherwise related with dating partner
  • Experienced or likely to experience abuse or violence from dating partner

Duration:  Valid for 180 days

If violated:

  • Criminal Charge: Protective Order Violation, Class B misdemeanor


Civil Stalking Injunction


  • Experienced stalking or harassing behaviors that cause alarm or distress more than once
  • Provide the court with documentation, such as:
    • A list/journal of perpetrators stalking behaviors
    • Notarized witness statements corroborating your list/journal
    • Police reports documenting stalking activity
    • Copies of letter/notes, transcripts or documentation of phone calls, letter, text, email messages, etc.

Duration:  Valid for three years.

If violated:

  • Criminal Charge: Stalking, Class A Misdemeanor;
  • May result in 3rd degree Felony if violation occurs
Protective Order Facts
  • Orders are issued by Civil Court in your County of residency or where incident occurred.

  • You will be required to present yourself in court within 20-days of petition. Court date is assigned by the court.

  • Lawyers are not required, but recommended (Safe Harbor can help provide a free attorney for protective order court only).

  • You may get a temporary protective order effective until the hearing

  • All orders are free

  • All orders are enforced by the police

Our Protective Order Services

Our trained advocates can assist with:

  • Completing protective order forms
  • Obtaining needed documents
  • Pro-bono legal representation for PO court
  • Safety planning
  • Accompanying you to criminal court, law enforcement interviews, and more
  • Answering questions
  • Providing advocacy

To speak with an advocate or to schedule an appointment, please call 801-444-9161.