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About Abuse

LGBTQ Victims

August 31, 2009

Can I get a restraining order against my same-sex partner?

Maybe.  One tool that can be helpful when trying to escape from domestic violence is a restraining order (also known as a protection order, injunction, etc.)  A restraining order can provide many forms of protection such as ordering the abuser to stop all contact with you, stay away from you, leave your home or face arrest and prosecution.  However, not all states allow a victim in an abusive LGBTQ relationship to get a restraining order.

It is safe to say that in most states, restraining orders are neutrally available to same-sex victims of abuse - in other words, the law doesn't refer to the gender of the parties involved.  However, there are exceptions.  In some states, the law is unclear as to whether or not a judge can grant a victim a restraining order against unmarried same-sex partners.  In other states, the law only allows unmarried intimate partners to get restraining orders against an opposite-sex partner.  To see what the law says in your state, go to our Restraining Orders page and enter your state in the drop-down menu.  Then look for a question with a title similar to "Can I get a restraining order against a same-sex partner?"