Interpersonal Protective Order

Woman with backpack standing at a closed door

What is an Interpersonal Protective Order (IPO)?

It is a court order, signed by a judge, designed to prevent further acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Who can file for an Interpersonal Protective Order?

  • People who are, or have been, in a dating relationship…including teen dating relationships

  • People who have been sexually assaulted

  • People who have been stalked

What can a protective order do?

A judge can order the respondent to:

-Have no contact with you, your children, or others who might need protection either in person, by phone, text, email, social media, or through friends or family

-Stay away from your home, school, workplace, or other places you may likely be

-Stop abusing or threatening you

-Leave a shared home

How do I get a protective order?

You have to show the court that you were physically injured, assaulted, sexually assaulted, or stalked by the respondent OR that the respondent did something to place you in a reasonable fear that you were about to be physically injured, assaulted, sexually assaulted, or stalked.

Where do I go to get a protective order?

You should go to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office – either in the county where you usually live or in the county to which you have fled to escape the abuse. After business hours, you should contact your local police or domestic violence program to find out what to do. Protective orders are available 24 hours per day, every day!

What if I go to the same school as the respondent?

You must let the judge know this, so they will give you an order which keeps you protected while allowing both you and the respondent to continue your education. It is a good idea to let your school know as soon as you receive a temporary order, so they may come to court for the hearing and the judge can hear directly from them about what would work best.

Where can I find more information about protective orders and the court process?

You can call AppalReD Legal Aid at 1-866-277-5733. You can find a more extensive FAQ on KYJustice.org or Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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