A petition for an Order of Protection may be filed by a person who has been abused by a family or household member or by any person on behalf of a minor child or adult with disabilities abused by a family or household member. Spouses, former spouses, parents, children, step-children, and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, and persons with disabilities and their personal assistants, can all get Orders of Protection.
In addition, any person may file an Order of Protection on behalf of a high-risk adult with disabilities who has been abused, neglected or exploited by a family or household member.
In the case of high risk adults with disabilities, "family or household member" includes any person responsible for a high-risk adult as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of the high-risk adult with disabilities by court order, by contract or voluntarily.
High-risk adults with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to crimes of domestic violence because of impairments in their ability to seek or obtain protection. It is a serious problem which takes many forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation.
If the Order of Protection is violated, you should call the police immediately. Once the police have arrived, you should show them a copy of your Order of Protection. Ask the police to write out a report and get the report number. Also, get the officer's name and badge number.
It is the responsibility of the responding officer to contact the Felony Review Division of the State's Attorneys Office to have criminal charges approved.
Every time the abuser/respondent calls, comes to your home, place of business, etc., record the date and time.
Always get the police report number and badge number of the officer when a report is made, even if an arrest has not been made.
Ask friends and family to take pictures of any injuries you sustained from the respondent/abuser. Get two sets when possible so that a copy of the photo can be given to the State's Attorneys Office for the criminal case file.
Save any letters or mail that have been sent to you by the respondent/abuser. Document when it was received and always save the original envelopes.
Print out and save any e-mail messages from the respondent/abuser.
Save the tape of any messages that have been left on your answering machine or voicemail. If it is not date stamped, record the date of the message.
If you require medical care, inform the hospital staff how you obtained the injury. Ask the staff to document it, as well as taking photographs.
Keep a record of every third party contact made. Any messages that are forwarded to you by the respondent/abuser should be reported and documented.
Always keep a journal of any violation whether or not an arrest has been made. This can help for future problems, as well as aiding you in remembering each specific incident.
Talk to friends about the violations and make neighbors aware of your Order of Protection.
A valid Order of Protection is enforceable where it is issued, all 50 states, Indian Tribal lands, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariano Islands and Guam. If you need help in getting your order enforced in a jurisdiction other than where it was entered, you, a domestic violence advocate, your attorney or even the police can contact: