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Filing a Protective Order: Preparing to Leave

Filing a protective order is an extremely difficult decision.  It takes a toll physically and emotionally on a person.  After the filing, many decisions still have yet to be finalized.  This article is not intended to override your existing plans regarding self help; only you know what you need to keep yourself safe if you are in imminent danger from an abuser.  However, this article is intended to be a guideline for items you want to include in your “go” bag when you are leaving and considerations you may make before you leave.

From a practical perspective, understand that when a person receives a 209A, he (or she) may become more unstable.  This can create an increase in the abuse level and in fact, it often does.  Being prepared to leave before the order is served is a good strategy but it’s not always possible.  It’s good to have a “go” bag ready so you can leave immediately when the opportunity arises.  Your kit should contain only essentials like:

  • Cell phone
  • Hygiene products
  • Glasses or other eyewear
  • Hearing aides (if required)
  • Medications
  • Change of clothes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Shoes
  • Diapers/wipes (if you have small children)
  • Sanitizer
  • Soap
  • Wipes
  • Flashlight

In the event that you need to leave suddenly, you will be able to grab this bag and head out, providing yourself with the necessary items to prevent you from returning and putting yourself in harm’s way. If you have children, include the same items for each in a smaller bag.  Remember, only the necessities.

Filing a protective order shouldn’t be done to get even or when you are just angry.   It should be done to protect you and/or your loved ones when you know you can follow through all the way.  Understand that your abuser will most likely try to talk you into retracting the order and it may put you in a much more dangerous situation if you are living with an abusive person.  A great place to complete a comprehensive plan is here. That link will provide you with the steps to help you plan and connect you with valuable resources you may need before you file your protective order.

We understand that what we are writing is often difficult to put into practice because when you need to get out, it’s an emergency situation and there is no time to plan.  That’s why speaking to our office can help.  We can help you understand the process and protect your legal interests.  However, you will still need to lean on others depending on your specific situation.  Emotional support is critical during this time.

You may feel that you have been alienated from your friends and family.  That’s not uncommon, however, there are people who will help you.  If you feel you are in this, or a similar situation, contact our office to begin communicating privately with us.  You may reach our office at: Contact Us

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