What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
You should review the family violence protective order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, you might want to ask the clerk how to get it corrected. Here are some additional things that you may want to do after leaving the courthouse:
- Keep a copy of the family violence protective order with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the order 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 if permitted by law.
- Be aware of your safety while leaving the courthouse. If you are concerned that the abuser may try to approach you, contact a court officer to see if you can be accompanied to your car.
Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving a family violence protective 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 abusers 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. View our Staying Safe page for some suggestions. Advocates at local domestic violence resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. For a list of domestic violence centers, see our GA Advocates and Shelters page.