About Abuse

LGBTQ Victims

September 12, 2018

Can I get a restraining order against my same-sex partner?

One tool that can be helpful when any victim is trying to escape from domestic violence is a restraining order (also known as a protection order, injunction, etc.). A restraining order can provide many forms of protection and can order an abuser to:

  • stop all contact with you;
  • stay away from you;
  • leave your home; and
  • other protection you may need..

However, not all states allow an unmarried victim in an abusive LGBTQ relationship to get a restraining order.

In most states, laws about restraining orders are written to be gender-neutral. In other words, the law doesn't refer to the gender of the parties involved. However, there are exceptions. In some states, the law isn’t clear about whether a judge can grant an unmarried victim a restraining order against a same-sex partner. In other states, the law specifically only allows unmarried intimate partners to get restraining orders against an opposite-sex partner.

To see what the law says in your state, go to our Restraining Orders page and enter your state in the drop-down menu. Then look for a question with a title similar to "Can I get a restraining order against a same-sex partner?"