What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
Here are some steps that you may want to take as you are preparing to leave the courthouse:
- Review the protection order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk to correct the order before you leave.
- Obtain several copies of the protection order.
- Leave a copy of the protection order at your work place, at your home, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, in your purse, and if children are included, then at the children’s school or daycare. Basically, make sure that you have a copy of the protection order available at all times. Once the defendant has been served, put a copy of the return of service with all copies of the protection order.
- Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
- Give a copy of the protection order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
- Be sure that the information you provided on the information sheet for registering a protection order is complete and accurate so that police are able to effectively enforce the order. For more information about the information sheet for registering a protection order, see Step 1: Get the required forms.
Note: A protection order is not a guarantee of your safety. Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order. Many batterers obey protection orders, but some do not, and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. For suggestions on staying safe, visit our Staying Safe page. Advocates at local resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. To find an advocate in your area please visit our CO Advocates and Shelters page. Remember that if the abuser violates the order in any way, you can report the violation to your local law enforcement, and s/he may be arrested.