Here, learn about Sexual Assault Protective Orders (SAPO), including who can apply, the duration of the order, and whether filing a police report or having the respondent arrested is necessary. This article was written by Crime Victims at Texas Legal Services Center.
What is a Sexual Assault Protective Order (SAPO)?
A Sexual Assault Protective Order (SAPO) is a court order that requires the perpetrator to stay 200 yards away from you and where you work, live and attend school.
Who can apply for a Sexual Assault Protective Order (SAPO)?
If you are a victim of a sexual assault, you are eligible to apply for a protective order against the perpetrator.
Once you apply for a protective order you are the “Applicant” and the perpetrator is the “Respondent.”
Duration and Expiration of Sexual Assault Protective Orders
A Sexual Assault Protective Order can remain in effect from two years up to a lifetime.
Police Report Not Required for SAPO
You do not have to file a police report prior to requesting a Sexual Assault Protective Order. But if you did file a report, include that information in your petition.
Arrest of Respondent Not Required
It is not necessary for the respondent to have been arrested for the applicant to obtain a Sexual Assault Protective Order. An arrest is not required for an applicant to receive protection from a sexual assault perpetrator
SAPOs for Victims of Partner Sexual Assault
You can apply for a Sexual Assault Protective Order if you were, or are, in a relationship with the respondent. Sexual assault by a stranger, relative, spouse or friend are all situations in which you may apply for a sexual assault protective order.
Sexual assault affects a victim’s safety. A safety plan is used to help empower a survivor and reduce the risk of future harm.
This article provides resources and general information about what to do if you are sexually assaulted in Texas.
This article explains how to apply for a sexual assault protective order.