If you want to save this information but don't think it is safe to take it home, see if a trusted friend can keep it for you. Plan ahead. Know who you can call for help, and memorize the phone number.
Be careful online too. Your online activity may be seen by others. Do not use your personal computer or device to read about this topic. Use a safe computer such as one at work, a friend's house, or a library.
Protective orders may also be called restraining orders, emergency intervention orders, peace bonds, or emergency protective orders.
How to get a protective order:
- Call your local advocacy group, a law office, or tell the police you want to get one. You may be able to get an emergency protective order immediately.
- For a temporary protective order, you will probably have to see a family court judge. Tell the judge about times you have been threatened with violence or have suffered abuse. List any witnesses, including police officers, who may help your case.
- Show the judge any evidence of physical abuse, such as photos of bruises, injuries, or damaged property.
- Tell the judge about any prior arrests the abuser has had, or obtain the arrest reports. You may be able to get these from the police department or sheriff's office in the community where past abuse occurred.
To be eligible for a protective order, you and the other party must fit into at least one of the following categories:
- Married, or formerly married
- Related by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Currently living together or must have formerly lived together
- Currently or formerly in a dating relationship
- The parents in common of minor children
For a protective order to work effectively, you must:
- Inform the court of your specific safety needs, including when you are at work, those of your children, and any other particular circumstances.
- Request custody and visitation restrictions or "no contact" orders to ensure your children's safety.
- Call the police every time the order is violated.
If you travel to another province, check to see whether your protective order is valid in that province. Protective orders are valid across some province lines. Protective orders remain in effect until they are removed by the court, even if the victim consents to contact with the abuser.
Check your local phone book or provincial website for resources on getting help in your area.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Brigid McCaw, MD, MPH, MS, FACP - Internal Medicine