What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Here are some things that you may want to consider when leaving the courthouse. You will have to evaluate each one and decide if it is safe and appropriate for you to do it.
- Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you see any errors, you can ask the clerk how to correct them.
- Make several copies of the restraining order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the restraining order with you at all times. Leave copies at your workplace, 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.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. 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 and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Go to our Safety Planning page for suggestions.