Making the decision to apply for a restraining or protective order can be very
difficult. It can be an effective and powerful legal tool to help keep you safe.
Studies show that a restraining order can reduce or stop the abuse in a
relationship. Still, a restraining order is not right for everyone and it cannot
guarantee your safety. The following lists may help you decide whether a
restraining order is the right choice for you.
Reasons to get a restraining order:
- You may feel more confident if you take control of the situation.
- You do not have to wait for the abuser to hurt you before calling the
police-you can call as soon as the abuser contacts you or comes near you.
Also, police tend to give priority to calls where the victim has an order.
- A court order can encourage school officials and other authorities to help
protect you from the abuser.
- Going to court will establish an official record of the abuse.
- You can make the abuser move out of a home that you share.
- A court order can establish or change custody and visitation arrangement for
- An order can let you enjoy school, work and life with less threat of harm.
Reasons not to get a restraining order:
- You think it will make the abuser more violent or put you in more danger.
- You are afraid of peer or gang retaliation.
- You or your family is moving far away and you feel safe without it.
- You won’t call the police if the abuser violates the order.
Remember, a restraining order cannot:
- Guarantee your personal safety.
- Guarantee the abuser won’t still be able to intimidate or scare you.
- Guarantee the safety and welfare of your children or other family members.
- Guarantee the abuser will be out of your life, especially if you have a
- Guarantee the abuser won’t destroy property that may be irreplaceable, like
photos, important papers and things with sentimental value.
- “Cure” the abuser.