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Legal Information: Delaware

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of March 26, 2024

Is there anything that the abuser can’t talk about in court?

If your case goes to trial because the abuser objects to the order being entered, you will most likely have to testify about what happened and be cross-examined by the abuser’s lawyer. However, if the abuser doesn’t have a lawyer, it’s possible that the abuser will be the one to ask the questions on cross-examination. Delaware’s law includes several rules to help prevent a victim of sexual assault from being re-victimized in the courtroom during cross-examination. In most situations, your “sexual reputation” or your prior sexual activity can only be brought up if:

  • it is related to past sexual activity with the abuser; and
  • the abuser is using that past activity as evidence that the non-consensual contact you alleged in your petition was actually consensual.1

In addition, none of the following things can be considered as evidence:

  1. if the abuser was voluntarily intoxicated;
  2. if you were voluntarily intoxicated;
  3. if you consented to limited sexual touching with the abuser; and
  4. if you chose not to report the abuser’s non-consensual acts or his/her threats to law enforcement officials.2

1 10 Del.C. § 7205(6)
2 10 Del.C. § 7205(7)