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Legal Information: South Carolina

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 8, 2020

Can I get an order for protection against a same-sex partner?

In South Carolina, you can apply for an order of protection against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to get an order of protection? You must also be the victim of an act of abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of abuse in South Carolina?

For non-married same-sex couples who are living together or who formerly lived together, it used to not be possible to get an order of protection. However, even though the language of the South Carolina statute says that only “a male and female” who live(d) together can qualify, the courts have ruled differently on this issue. In 2017, the South Carolina Supreme Court declared that this part of the statute was unconstitutional as applied to same-sex partners.2 Therefore, non-married, same-sex partners who live(d) together can apply for an order of protection in South Carolina.

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

1 S.C. Code § 20-4-20(b)(iv)
2 Jane Doe v. State of South Carolina, 421 S.C. 490, 808 S.E.2d 807 (2017)