What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
You should review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, you might want to ask the clerk how to get it corrected. Here are some additional things that you may want to do after leaving the courthouse:
- Make several copies of the 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.
- If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, you might want to take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.
- Be aware of your safety while leaving the courthouse. If you are concerned that the abuser may try to approach you, contact a court officer to see if you can be accompanied to your car.
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 protection 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 Staying Safe. Advocates at local domestic violence resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. For a list of domestic violence centers, see our OK Advocates and Shelters page.