About Abuse


October 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
  • do (or not do) other things ordered by the judge to keep you safe.

All but two states allow an unmarried victim in an abusive LGBTQ relationship to get a restraining order. In North Carolina and South Carolina, unmarried victims of abuse may only file for a protection order based on domestic violence against abusers of the opposite sex.

You can find more information for North Carolina at Can I get a DVPO against a same-sex partner?

You can find more information for South Carolina at Can I get an order for protection against a same-sex partner?

In every other state, laws about restraining orders are written to be gender-neutral or inclusive of same-sex partners. In other words, the law doesn’t refer to the gender of the parties involved, or specifically includes same-sex couples.

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?”

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.