Look at the rules for your county or state before filing for a protective order.  In most jurisdictions, applications for protective orders may be filed at the courthouse and/or the police station. Here is a general summary of how to file for a protective order. 

    • Before filing for a Protective Order, it is best, but not necessary, to consult a Victim Advocate who will help decide your best course of action. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-7233 to reach a victim advocate 24/7.

      • A Victim Advocate is a person who is professionally trained to support victims of crime.

      • Advocates offer victims information, emotional support, and help finding resources and filling out paperwork. Sometimes, advocates go to court with victims. Advocates may also contact organizations, such as criminal justice or social service agencies, to get help or information for victims. Some advocates staff crisis hotlines, run support groups, or provide in-person counseling. Victim advocates may also be called victim service providers, victim/witness coordinators, or victim/witness specialists. (National Center for Victims of Crime)

    • In order to obtain a Protective Order, you will need to file an application.

      • Where to file your application:

        • Applications for Protective Orders typically need to be filed in either the county where the abuse occurred or where either the victim or abuser lives.

      • Who can a Protective Order Protect?

        • A Protective Order can protect the victim, his or her children, and family members. Some Protective Orders can even protect pets.

      • How much does it cost to file an application?

        • It is free to file an application for a Protective Order.

Visit WomensLaw for more information on how to apply for a Protective Order.