What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
You can call the police even if you think it is a minor violation. Intentionally violating a relief from abuse order can be put in jail for up to one year, fined up to $5,000, or both. The penalties increase can increase to up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines (or both) if s/he has a prior conviction for violating a sexual assault or stalking protective order, a relief from abuse order, or an order preventing contact with a child or if s/he a prior conviction for domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault.1
Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified in the future. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case.
You also have the option for filing for contempt in the court where your order was issued.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 VT ST T. 13 § 1030(a),(b)