What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
You can call the police, even if you think it is a minor violation. A person who intentionally violates the protective order can be committing a misdemeanor. However, if the person has been previously convicted for a violation of the order, he may be guilty of a felony, which carries a greater punishment.1 It is also a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
You can also file a petition for contempt in the courthouse where you got the order. For violating the order, the abuser can be held in “contempt of court” and punished by the judge. Additionally, if the judge believes that the abuser violated an order for protection, the court can:
- require a respondent to wear a GPS tracking device (with victim notification capabilities if available); and
- prohibit the respondent from approaching or entering certain locations where you may be found.2
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 IC § 35-46-1-15.1
2 IC § 34-26-5-9(j)