What if I do not qualify for an order of protection?
If you do not qualify for an order of protection due to your relationship to the other person or due to the nature of the acts that were committed against you, you may be able to file for a restraining order. A restraining order may be issued between people who have no family or dating relationships, such as neighbors, or co-workers or for acts that may not be covered in the “domestic abuse” law, such as harassment or some acts of stalking. These types of restraining orders follow longer injunction procedures rather than the quicker process for orders of protection. For advice on your specific situation or to learn more about the restraining order/injunction process, please talk to a lawyer. You can find legal referrals on our GU Finding a Lawyer page.
In addition, there can be criminal laws that prohibit stalking and harassment-type behaviors or other actions that may not qualify you for an order of protection. Go to our GU Crimes page for the definitions of some commonly-committed crimes. If one of these crimes is being committed against you, and criminal charges are pressed against the abuser, a judge may be able to order him/her to stay away from you.
You can also visit our Safety Planning page for ways to increase your safety.
Orders of protection also do not cover many types of emotional or mental abuse. If you’re being mentally or emotionally abused, please contact a domestic violence organization in your area. They can help you figure out your options and offer you support. You can see our GU Advocates and Shelters for referrals.