Who can get a sexual assault protective order?
Any person against whom an act of nonconsensual sexual contact was committed can file for a sexual assault protective order. You do not need to have any relationship with the abuser to file for a sexual assault protective order. The abuser can be a stranger or an acquaintance.1
1 LA R.S. 46:2183(A)
What are the steps involved with getting a sexual assault protective order?
The steps to get a sexual assault protective order are similar to the steps to get a protective order for domestic abuse, but you may fill out different paperwork. If you have questions, you can call the clerk of court or talk to a lawyer. You can find the contact information for local courthouses on the LA Courthouse Locations page and for lawyers on the LA Finding a Lawyer page.
Is there someone that can assist me with the paperwork?
The clerk of the court will give you the forms you need, inform you about the process of filing for free if applicable, and provide you with access to the notary when one is available to complete the affidavit that is needed for your petition.1 A sexual assault advocate can also help you to fill out your protective order petition.2Note: A sexual assault advocate is someone who has completed specific training and works for a sexual assault or rape crisis center (or similar program).3 To find a sexual assault center and advocates in your area, you can visit the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault site.
1 LA R.S. 46:2186(A)
2 LA R.S. 46:2186(B),(C)
If I talk to a sexual assault advocate about what happened to me, will that information be shared in court?
Louisiana law says it should not be shared in court - as long as the advocate is an employee or representative of a sexual assault center that is “established and accredited in accordance with the standards set by the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault.”1 The law says that the information that you share with such an advocate and any communications that s/he has with you while s/he is providing you with services are considered “privileged.” If a communication is privileged, that means that there is generally not a requirement to reveal it in court through testimony or to produce any records or documents related to that privileged communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.2 If one of the lawyers in a case tries to get the information by sending a subpoena, both you and the advocate have the right to tell the judge the information is “privileged” and should not be revealed. It is often best to have a lawyer when trying to quash (fight against) a subpoena. For legal referrals, go to our LA Finding a Lawyer page.
1 LA R.S. 46:2187(A)(1),(2)
2 LA R.S. 46:2187(A)(1),(B)
If I have another case pending against the abuser, can I still get this protective order?
Yes. Receiving a sexual assault protective order does not prohibit you from also seeking other legal relief against the abuser.1 For example, the abuser can still be prosecuted for committing the sexual assault in criminal court even if you have a sexual assault protective order.
1 LA R.S. 46:2188