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Protecting Yourself After a Restraining Order is Issued

Staying safe at your residence:

  • Change the locks on the doors, replace any weak doors (metal doors are better than wood) and reinforce sliding glass doors by installing a lock or placing a piece of wood in the track
  • Add interior window locks so that windows can't be opened from the outside
  • Install a security system or speak to someone at your local hardware store for less expensive alternatives; install motion-sensitive lighting outside your home
  • Plan an emergency escape route from all areas of your home, including upstairs, and make sure all family members are aware of the plan
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1. If possible, purchase a cordless telephone and take it with you as you travel to different rooms in your residence
  • Teach your children how to make a collect call to you or family members in case they are abducted. Tell your children not to unlock the door if the respondent tries to get into your home
  • Include family pets or other animals in your safety and escape plans. Animals are often targeted (threatened with harm, cruelly injured, or killed) by a batterer or stalker as a means of controlling, terrorizing or punishing human victims. If it is not safe for you to remain at home, it is likely not safe for your animals, either

Staying safe at work:

  • Inform your supervisor of the existence of the restraining order and of any concerns you may have for your safety at your place of employment
  • Leave work in the company of at least one other co-worker
  • Park in an area that is well lighted and/or where there are other people around
  • Alter your route to and from work

Staying safe in the community

  • Use different grocery stores and shopping malls; regularly change the hours you shop to avoid detection of a routine
  • Avoid alcohol and/or drugs as they can affect your ability to react quickly and make rational decisions
  • Avoid walking in unlighted or isolated areas
  • If you are being followed while driving or riding in a vehicle, proceed to the nearest police station or look for a police officer - do not drive home