What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
- Make several copies of the protective order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- Inform your employer, domestic violence advocate, minister, clergy, family members, and/or your closest friends that you have a protective order in effect.
- 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.
- Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by 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.
- One week after court, call your local law enforcement offices to make sure they have received copies of the order.
- Take steps to safety plan, including changing your locks and your phone number.
Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order. Women 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 no. It is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe.
Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Tips. (You can access the safety planning information any time from the WomensLaw.org Home page.) In addition, advocates at local resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the DE Advocates and Shelters page under the Places that Help tab at the top of this page.