Legal Information: Rhode Island

Restraining Orders

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November 4, 2022

Who can get a sexual assault protective order?

You can file for a sexual assault restraining order if you are a victim of sexual assault, child molestation, or stalking. You do not need to have a family or household relationship with the abuser to qualify for the order.1 If the abuser is a former or current intimate partner, then you may qualify for a domestic violence restraining order instead.

1 RI Gen. Laws § 11-37.2-2(a)

What are the steps to get a sexual assault protective order?

The steps to get a sexual assault protective order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order, but you may fill out different paperwork. If you have questions, you can call the clerk of court or talk to a lawyer. You can find the contact information for local courthouses on the RI Courthouse Locations page and for lawyers on the RI Finding a Lawyer page.

What if the abuser violates the order?

Violating a sexual assault protective order could be a misdemeanor. The abuser could be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment in jail for up to a year, or both.1

If the abuser violates your order, you can report the violation to the police if that is a safe option for you and also report it to the court by filing a motion for contempt.

1 RI Gen. Laws § 11-37.2-2(e)

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