Legal Information: Iowa

Statutes: Iowa

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October 29, 2021

236A.13. Prevention of further abuse--notification of rights--arrest--liability

1. If a peace officer has reason to believe that sexual abuse has occurred, the officer shall use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse including but not limited to the following:

a. If requested, remaining on the scene as long as there is a danger to an abused person’s physical safety without the presence of a peace officer, including but not limited to staying in the dwelling unit, or if unable to remain on the scene, assisting the person in leaving the residence.

b. Assisting an abused person in obtaining medical treatment necessitated by an assault, including providing assistance to the abused person in obtaining transportation to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

c. Providing an abused person with immediate and adequate notice of the person’s rights. The notice shall consist of handing the person a document that includes the telephone numbers of shelters, support groups, and crisis lines operating in the area and contains the following statement of rights written in English and Spanish; asking the person to read the document; and asking whether the person understands the rights:

[1] You have the right to ask the court for the following help on a temporary basis:

[a] Keeping your attacker away from you, your home, and your place of work.

[b] The right to stay at your home without interference from your attacker.

[2] You have the right to seek help from the court to seek a protective order with or without the assistance of legal representation. You have the right to seek help from the courts without the payment of court costs if you do not have sufficient funds to pay the costs.

[3] You have the right to file criminal complaints for threats, assaults, or other related crimes.

[4] You have the right to seek restitution against your attacker for harm to yourself or your property.

[5] If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer present assist you in obtaining transportation to the nearest hospital or otherwise assist you.

[6] If you believe that police protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer present remain at the scene until you and other affected persons can leave or until safety is otherwise ensured.2. A peace officer is not civilly or criminally liable for actions pursuant to this section taken reasonably and in good faith.

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