What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Once the hearing is finished, before leaving the courthouse there are some things you may want to consider doing. Do those that you think will help you.
- Check the order before leaving the courthouse. Make sure that nothing is missing and if there is an error, tell the clerk.
- Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
- Always keep a copy with you.
- Leave copies of the order at your work, your home, the school where your children attend, with the people who care for your children, in your car, with a neighbor, friend, etc.
- Give a copy to the security guard in the building or complex where you live and/or work, along with a photo of the abuser.
- Give a copy to anyone named in or protected by the order.
- If the courthouse has not already delivered a copy to the police station nearest your residence, give them one of your copies.
- If you want and if it is allowed, you may want to change the locks on the doors of your home and change your phone number.
You can make a safety plan. People can do several things to help protect themselves during abuse, while preparing to leave an abusive relationship and after leaving the relationship. Many abusers obey protection orders but some do not and it is important to keep doing things to protect yourself. You can read suggestions about how to stay safe on our Safety Tips page.