What should I do when I leave the courtroom?
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 something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave.
- 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.
- 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 police, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- Take steps to safety plan, including considering changing your locks and your phone number. Please call your local crisis center for help with safety planning toll free at 1-800-277-5570.
It is important to recognize that a protective order has limits. For a protective order to be as effective as possible, you must be vigilant in enforcing the order by reporting every violation to the police or the court.
Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order. Women can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when leaving or 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 Tips. Advocates at local resource centers can help you design a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. There is a list of organizations that may be able to help you on the NH Advocates and Shelters page under teh Places that Help tab on the top of this page.