What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
It is important to recognize the limitations of an Order of Protection from Abuse. You must be vigilant in enforcing the order’s provisions by reporting every violation to the police or the court.
Call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. It is a 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. Violation of the order is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,300. In addition, the police should arrest him for violation of the order. If convicted, the abuser may be fined or sent to jail.
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.1
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 10 Del. C. § 1046.