Reasons to get a restraining order:

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
    your kids.
  • 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
    child together.
  • Guarantee the abuser won’t destroy property that may be irreplaceable, like
    photos, important papers and things with sentimental value.
  • “Cure” the abuser.