An Order of Protection is a legal order from a judge used to
help protect victims of domestic abuse. It contains "remedies"
which order an abuser to take certain actions or prohibits him
from taking certain actions. The abuser, listed as the
"respondent," can be arrested for violating certain remedies
listed in an order of protection. A protected person cannot be
arrested for violating an Order of Protection.
How to Obtain an Order of Protection:
An order of protection is available to family or household
members who have suffered domestic abuse. Request an Order of Protection by:
Contacting a local domestic violence program and asking for
help. To locate the nearest program, call 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).
Going to the local circuit clerk’s office and asking
Asking an attorney to file a petition in civil court (such as
Requesting an order after criminal charges have been
What if You Decide to Stay?
Staying in an abusive relationship can be dangerous. If you decide to stay, consider
these safety tips:
Change the locks.
Install a security system, smoke alarms and outside lights.
Pre-program emergency numbers into the telephone.
Tell neighbors and ask they call police right away if they see the abuser.
Notify work and try to arrange for your calls to be screened.
Report any violation of the Order of Protection right away. Call 9-1-1.
What if You Decide to Leave?
Leaving an abusive relationship, even for a short time, can be
difficult and dangerous. Leaving can be made easier and safer
when you involve police and victim advocates and remember to
bring along the following items:
Money, your checkbook, credit cards, ATM cards
Identification (for self and the children): birth
certificates, social security cards, welfare I.D., school and
work I.D., green cards, work permits, etc.
Important papers such as your divorce papers; school records;
lease, rental agreement or house deed; and insurance papers
Order of Protection–if you have one, keep it with you
at all times.