What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
Call the police or sheriff, even if you think it is a minor violation. Depending on the nature of the violation, the abuser may be arrested, fined and jailed. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
You may file criminal charges against the abuser yourself at the district courthouse if the abuser violates the order.
You may also file in civil court for a violation of a protective order. For example, if an abuser calls you and he’s not supposed to, you can file a motion at the district court, and the court will schedule another hearing. Talk to the clerk of court about filing a motion for a violation of a protective order.
Make sure a police report is filled out if your abuser violates the order, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order it will help you have the order extended or modified.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.