How to Get a Restraining Order

A restraining order can help end an abusive relationship safely. Sometimes called a protective order, a restraining order is a court order that makes it illegal for an abusive partner to harm you, come near you or contact you.

Although the details vary by state, there are two basic requirements for getting a restraining order:

  1. Showing a certain relationship between you and the abuser
  2. Showing abuse in your relationship

By law, restraining orders are free in all 50 states.

A restraining order can't guarantee your safety or change your abuser, but it can help keep you safe during a difficult time. In fact, after you get a restraining order, your abusive partner could face criminal penalties for violating it.