How do I make sure that the order will be enforced?
- Keep a paper copy of the sexual assault protective order (SAPO) on you at all times, it is easier for law enforcement when you can produce the order when asked.
- Give a copy of the SAPO to your employer, school and apartment complex.
- Leave a copy of the SAPO with a trusted neighbor. If the respondent comes to a protected location, it is a violation of the order even if you are not there, and your neighbors and/or coworkers can report the violation to police.
- Know the terms of your order. Is the respondent allowed to contact you at all? If it says no contact, then even a text message is a violation.
What happens if the respondent violates the SAPO? What are the consequences?
If the respondent violates the order, call 911 immediately. You should also call the agency or attorney that assisted you in getting the protective order and notify them. When you report a violation of the protective order to the police, be sure to get an offense report number from law enforcement. Some violations will result in the respondent’s arrest and others will result in fines.
Is my SAPO enforceable in another state?
Yes. If your Texas SAPO is violated in a different state, the respondent will be punished according to the law of that state.
I have a SAPO from another state. Is it enforceable in Texas?
- It is best to keep a copy of the order with you at all times
- It is best that you bring a copy of the order to law enforcement in Texas so they can enter it into the state database.
- The terms of an out of state order are enforceable even if they are not exactly the conditions you would have gotten in Texas.
- Whether you have your order with you or have registered it with law enforcement or not: the order is still fully enforceable.
Sexual assault affects a victim’s safety. A safety plan is used to help empower a survivor and reduce the risk of future harm.
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This article explains how to apply for a sexual assault protective order.
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