Am I eligible for an interpersonal protective order?
You may file for an interpersonal protective order if you are a victim of:
- dating violence and abuse committed by a current or former dating partner;
- stalking committed by someone whom you may or may not have dated; or
- sexual assault committed by someone whom you may or may not have dated.1
You may also file on behalf of a minor who qualifies for an interpersonal protective order if you are an adult (even if you are not related to the parent/guardian of the minor).1
To file based on dating violence and abuse, there must have been “dating relationship,” which the law defines as “a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.”3
In addition, if someone is criminally convicted of any degree of rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse against you, an interpersonal protective order will automatically be issued on your behalf by the court that entered the judgment of conviction unless you request otherwise. In that case, the order can be effective for up to ten years, with the ability to renew it in for up to ten years at a time.4
Note: If the person who has sexually assaulted or stalked you is a family member or an intimate partner with whom you live(d) or have a child, or s/he is a current/former spouse, you would file for a protective order based on domestic violence instead. Please see Protective Orders / Domestic Violence Orders for more information
1 KRS § 456.030(1)
2 See KRS §§ 456.030(1); 456.010(1), (6), (7)
3 KRS § 456.010(1)
4 KRS § 510.037
How will a judge decide if I was in a dating relationship with the abuser?
The judge may look at the following factors to decide if your relationship with the abuser was a dating relationship:
- whether you expressed a romantic interest in one another;
- whether the relationship was characterized by an expectation of affection;
- your attendance at social outings as a couple;
- the frequency and type of interaction between you and the abuser, including whether you have been involved together over time and continuously during the course of the relationship;
- the length of the relationship and how long ago it ended (if applicable); and
- other signs of a substantial connection that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a dating relationship existed.1
1 KRS § 456.010(1)
Can a minor file for an interpersonal protective order?
Yes. A minor can file on his/her own or an adult can file for an interpersonal protective order on behalf of a minor victim of dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.1 The adult who files it for the minor does not have to be his/her parent or guardian.
1 KRS § 456.030(1)(d)