What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Here are some ideas for things that you may want to do when leaving court – you will have to decide which ones work for you:
- Make several copies of the protective order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the order at your work place, 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.
- One week after court, call your local law enforcement offices to make sure they have received copies of the order for protection. If they have not, you may want to ask if you can deliver a copy to them.
- Take steps to safety plan, including possibly changing your locks and your phone number.
Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order. 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 protective orders, but some do not. It is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. For more information please visit the Safety Planning page. Advocates at local domestic violence programs can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support.