What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Here are some things you may want to consider doing. However, you will have to evaluate each one to see if it works for your situation.
- Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you have any questions about it, be sure to ask the clerk.
- Make several copies of the DVPO as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the DVPO with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the DVPO at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. The sheriff may deliver a copy of the order to the children’s school if the defendant has been ordered to stay away from the school but you may want to give one to the school to be sure.
- Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. You may also want to give them a photo of the defendant.
- Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
- If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks (if permitted by law) and your phone number.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. 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 and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Planning or click the tab on the top of this page.