What is a civil protective order?
It’s a document issued by a court to help you protect yourself from someone who is abusing or harassing you.
What can a civil protective order do?
Every state is different, but in many places, a protective order can require an abuser to:
Stay away from you at home, at work and anywhere you go. A protective order can also prohibit the abuser from contacting you by phone, fax, mail, email or through another person.
Move out if you live together. You can ask that a law enforcement officer be on the scene when the abuser collects their belongings to ensure your safety.
Give you temporary custody of your children. This generally lasts until the court makes a final decision about custody.
But a protective order can’t guarantee your safety.
An abuser can be arrested for violating the order, but it is not always possible to prevent a violation.
My partner and I are a same-sex couple. Can I still get a civil protective order?
Yes. In Iowa, individuals qualify for a civil protective order if they are married, divorced, or lived together at the time of the assault, or have lived together within one year before the assault occurred, or in an intimate relationship (significant romantic involvement that does not have to include sexual involvement).
Who can file for a sexual abuse civil protective order?
An adult seeking civil protection for himself or herself, or an adult seeking protection on behalf of their child who is under the age of 18, or an adult seeking protection on behalf of a ward. You or the person you're seeking protection from must live in Iowa.
How do I get a civil protective order?
For domestic violence civil protective orders contact our Sister Program: Rural Domestic Abuse Program
Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-464-8340
1014 North Elm Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
For sexual abuse civil protective orders contact Crisis Intervention Services
Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-800-270-1620
Main office address:
500 High Ave West
Oskaloosa, IA 52595
For other office locations: click here
Advocates can answer questions like:
What a protective order can and can’t do for you.
What procedure to follow for getting a protective order in your area.
Where and how to fill out the forms to file.
An advocate can help you collect and provide details of the abusive treatment you suffered.
After the order is filed you will have a hearing, an advocate can be present to support you through the court process.
What happens next?
The abuser is served a copy of the petition for the protective order. The court will schedule a hearing and order law enforcement to deliver the protective order and hearing date to the Defendant. The hearing will be held in 5 - 15 days after you submit your petition to the Clerk of Court.