Know the Laws: Oregon
UPDATED September 23, 2015
A sexual abuse protective order ("SAPO") is a civil order that provides protection if someone who is not your family or household member sexually abuses or sexually assaults you.
Similar to a restraining order to prevent abuse, a sexual abuse protective order ("SAPO") is a civil court order that can protect you if you are the victim of sexual abuse (including sexual assault, rape, sodomy) and you fear for your safety. Unlike a restraining order to prevent abuse, to qualify for a sexual assault protective order you cannot have a family or household relationship with the abuser.* Note: If you are the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault and are in a family or household relationship with the abuser, you may qualify for a restraining order to prevent abuse.
* ORS § 163.763(1)
For the purpose of getting a sexual abuse protective order, sexual abuse is defined as any “sexual contact” with a person:
There are two types of sexual abuse protective orders, described below.
Ex parte order
When you file a petition for a sexual abuse protective order in circuit court, the judge can hold an ex parte hearing in person or by telephone. Ex parte means that the abuser does not need to have prior notice of (or be present at) the hearing. If the judge finds that it is reasonable for a person in your situation to fear for your physical safety and that the sexual abuse occurred within the previous 180 days, the judge can issue a restraining order.*
When determining whether or not 180 days has passed since the sexual abuse occurred, the judge should not consider any time the abuser was in jail, any time that the abuser lived more than 100 miles away from your residence, and any time that the abuser was not allowed to contact you because of a different restraining order.*1
The abuser has 30 days to request a hearing after s/he is served with the ex parte order. If the abuser requests a hearing, the court staff will notify you of the date and time of the hearing and give you a copy of the abuser’s request.*2 The hearing will be scheduled within 21 days of the abuser’s request. You may have to explain the incidents of sexual abuse to the judge, and the abuser will also have an opportunity to give the judge his/her testimony and evidence. At that hearing, the judge could change or dismiss the restraining order.*3 If the abuser fails to request a hearing at the end of the 30 days, the terms in your ex parte order remain in effect for one year.*4
* ORS § 163.765(1)
*1 ORS § 163.763(3),(1)(c)
*2 ORS § 163.765(6)(a),(b)
*3 ORS § 163.767(1)
*4 ORS § 163.765(7),(8)
You can file for a sexual abuse protective order in the circuit court in the county where either you or the abuser lives.*
* ORS § 163.763(2)(a)
If the judge finds that you are the victim of sexual abuse and that you fear for your physical safety, the order will state that the abuser must: