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Women in Abusive Relationships


Domestic Violence 


Frequently Asked Questions About Protective Orders:

What is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order is a civil court order that can be issued by a judge if he/she finds probable cause to believe that the applicant has been harassed, abused or is threatened with abuse from another person. Violation of a Protective Order may be a criminal offense.

Am I eligible for a Protective Order?
If you are in fear because someone has threatened you with bodily injury, caused you bodily injury, or attempted to do so, you may be granted a Protective Order. There is no requirement that the other person live in the same household, or be married to you.

What does a Protective Order do?
It is a court order directing that the other person refrain from harassing, abusing or threatening you. In the order, the court may also require the other person and/or the applicant to obtain counseling or other social services, including domestic violence education.

Where can I go to get a Protective Order?
Jackson County Courthouses in Kansas City or Independence. An Adult Abuse office is located in the Courthouse of each city. There will be people there who will be available to help with the paperwork.

  • Kansas City Adult Abuse: (816) 881-3974, 415 E. 12th Street, 3rd Floor
  • Independence Adult Abuse: (816) 881-4600, 308 W. Kansas

How long does it take for a Judge to issue the Protective Order?
Depending on the time of day the Order is applied for, they can be issued as soon as the same day or the following day.

What happens if a violation takes place?
If someone is violating the Order, the petitioner should call the police as soon as possible. Depending on the violation, a police report is made and the case is then sent to the Jackson County Prosecutor for review.

How long does the Protective Order last?
The Order can be good anywhere from six months to a year. Typically, a judge will issue the Order for one year. Two extensions can be given on the Order without any violations happening as long as an extension is requested before the Order expires.

What if I want to change the order?
The person has to go back to the Adult Abuse office and request a Motion to Modify the Order. Either a petitioner or respondent can request the modification.

What is a safety plan?
Although no one should have to leave their home as a result of their partner abusing them, safety concerns may cause one to choose to leave.Should this situation present itself, a safety plan can be a big help. It will assist you in your efforts to leave. For instance: Safety during a violent incident (try to move to a low risk place that has access to the outside of the house. Get away from the kitchen, bathroom or near any weapons). When preparing to leave, check for people who would be willing to assist you with money or a place to stay. Instructions about what to do after getting a Protective Order (such as have copies made); What to do in the event of a violation of the Protective Order; A list of what to take when you leave (i.d., money, keys, medication) and emergency numbers (Police, Prosecuting Attorney, and Women's Shelter).

It might also be helpful if a victim packs a bag for her and her children and leaves it in advance with a friend or family member.That way, if she has to leave suddenly, she will have a extra change of clothing.Also, if she has access to money, she could give it to a friend or family member or she could stash it somewhere the abuser probably wouldn't look (i.e. a sanitary box).She may also want to give copies of birth certificates, insurance cards, extra keys, etc. to a close friend or family member.

How do I file criminal charges?
Once a police report is filed and a detective has reviewed the case, it is then sent to the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office for review. It is up to the prosecutor reviewing the case to decide if charges are filed.

Do I need to apply for a Protective Order if criminal charges are filed?
It is strongly suggested that a victim apply for a Protective Order as an extra safety precaution.



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