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Know the Laws: District of Columbia

UPDATED August 31, 2015

Civil Protection Orders (for victims of stalking and sexual assault / abuse)

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If you are a victim of stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, you can file for a civil protection order against the offender regardless of your relationship to him/her.  Therefore, you could file for a civil protection order if the person who stalked or sexually assaulted you is a stranger, co-worker, acquaintance, relative, spouse, intimate partner, etc.*  Unlike other states, in D.C. there is one civil protection order petition and the type of abuse that you suffered is the deciding factor as to whether or not you need to have a relationship with the offender.  So, for example, if you are alleging stalking or sexual assault, no relationship is needed between you and the offender.  If you are alleging that the abuser committed a different crime against you, you must have one of the relationships described here in our Civil Protection Orders (for domestic violence victims) section.

For more information on what type of protections you can get with a civil protection order based on stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, as well as the steps to file for one, please go to our Civil Protection Orders (for domestic violence victims) pages since the information is the same. 

* D.C. Code § 16-1001(12)

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