What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
These are some things you may want to consider after you have been granted an order for protection. Depending on what you think is safest in your situation, you may do any or all of the following:
- Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk how to correct the order before you leave.
- Make several copies of the order of protection as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the 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 (if permitted by law) and your phone number.
- If you are concerned about your safety when leaving the courthouse, you may want to notify a court officer to see if s/he may walk you to your car.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. 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 batterers obey orders for protection, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. For tips on staying safe, go to our Safety Planning page.