What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Once you leave the courthouse, here is a list of things you might want to do:
- Make several copies of the protection from abuse order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
- Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
- Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
- One week after court, call your local law enforcement office to make sure they have received a copy of the order. If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- Take steps to make a safety plan, which could include changing your locks and your phone number.
Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order. People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protective orders, but some do not. It is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Go to our Safety Tips page for more information. Advocates at local resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. You can find local domestic violence organizations on our AL State and Local Programs page.