What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
To enforce a temporary restraining order or order for protection, you are the one who would have to report the violations to the police or the court. Be sure to write down the date, time, location, and what happens when your order is violated.
Remember, even if you think it is a minor violation, you can call the police. It can be a misdemeanor crime and contempt of court if the abuser knowingly violates the order in any way. A judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court. In addition, the police can arrest him/her for the crime of violating the order.1 A judge may order the abuser to undergo domestic violence intervention services, (s)he may be jailed and/or fined.
When you call the police, they will generally send an officer out to make a report. Show the police your TRO or order for protection. If the police witnessed the violation or if the abuser is still in the area, the police will most likely make an arrest. If the abuser violated the order by injuring you, damaging property, etc., you can show the police any physical injuries or property damage (and you can photograph it for use later on). If the abuser called you in violation of the order, you may want to keep a log of the date and time of the call, what s/he said, save any voicemails or text messages, and write down anything else that you think is important.
The police will make a report, whether or not the abuser is arrested. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
If no arrest was made, and/or you are uncertain of an arrest, or you have questions about what to expect after an arrest was made, you can call the Victim/Witness Assistance Division of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office at one of the following numbers:
- O`ahu (the city and county of Honolulu)- (808) 768-7400 (this is the general prosecutor’s office number)
- Maui - (808) 270-7695 2
- Hawai`i - Kona: (808) 322-2552; Hilo: (808) 934-3306
- Kaua`i - (808) 241-1888 3
1 HRS §§ 586-4(e); 586-11(a)
2County of Maui website
3County of Kaua’i website