What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
Violating a temporary restraining order or permanent restraining order can be against the law.1 There are two ways to get help if the abuser violates the restraining order.
1. Through the police or sheriff: If the defendant violates the restraining order, you can call 911 immediately. In some cases, the defendant can be arrested right away. Tell the officers you have a restraining order, and the defendant is violating it. If the defendant is arrested, then the district attorney’s office can prosecute the abuser because it can be a crime to violate a restraining order.
2. Through the civil court system: You may also file for civil contempt when the abuser violates the order. The abuser can be in civil contempt and punished by the judge in some way if s/he does anything that your restraining order prohibits him/her from doing. To file for civil contempt, go to the clerk’s office and ask for the forms to file for contempt of court for violation of a restraining order.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 VI ST T. 16 § 97(e)