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  5 Things You Need to Know About Enforcing a Restraining Order
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Restraining orders go one way - Victims cannot “violate” their own protection order. If the order says “no contact,” the abuser cannot contact the victim; not the other way around. However, there can be negative consequences for a victim whose actions could cause the abuser to violate the order, like making the order harder to enforce.
The abuser has to be notified of the order before it’s effective – To obey an order, the abuser has to know the things s/he is prohibited from doing.
   If the abuser violates the order, the survivor can:
◆ Call the police if it is safe to do so. Depending on the type of violation, police may
arrest the abuser or may instruct you to file a motion with the court.
◆ File a motion for civil contempt to notify the judge about a violation. Some
violations, such as failure to pay child support, may be handled solely through civil contempt, and the judge could extend or change the order, or issue other penalties.
    There are two types of contempt when a restraining order is violated:
◆ Civil contempt
ӹ The petitioner has to convince the judge that it’s more likely than not that the violation occurred (the “preponderance of the evidence” standard).
ӹ Judges will most often take an administrative action to try to keep the abuser in line with the order, such as extending the order or changing the terms.
◆ Criminal contempt
ӹ The prosecutor has to prove that the violation happened “beyond a
reasonable doubt,” which is a higher standard than in civil contempt.
ӹ If found guilty, the judge could give the abuser a jail sentence or fine.
This product was supported by cooperative agreement number 2019-V3-GX-K017 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
  Full faith and credit applies to restraining orders: This means that any state or territory can enforce an order from a different state or territory. However, it only applies to orders issued after the abuser has notice of the order and the opportunity for a hearing, even if the abuser doesn’t attend the hearing.

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