Protective Orders -- Family Violence

Family violence is defined as an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, abuse or dating violence.

A party may apply for a "Protective Order" against the party who has committed family violence against them or their child. A Protective Order is a court order, similar to a restraining order, which protects them against the violence. It can order that a person not hurt or threaten them. It can include a no-contact order, so that no contact can be made with the applicant, the children, other family relatives, pets, the home, work or kids' school.

Requirements To Apply For A Protective Order (Both Prongs Must Be Met):

  • Family violence has occurred; and
  • Family violence is likely to occur in the future.

If both prongs are met, then the court must issue a Protective Order against the person who committed family violence, and could issue a Protective Order on both parties involved depending on the circumstances.

How Long Does A Protective Order Last?

A Protective Order is usually set in place for up to two years. Violation of a Protective Order can result in incarceration.

There are a number of resources for those stuck in violent situations including:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Many local domestic violence agencies
  • Advocates for Victims of Crime
  • Family violence shelter
  • A private attorney who can help you file for a Protective Order

Se habla español.