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I need a Sexual Assault Protective Order.

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I need a Sexual Assault Protective Order.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL 

Anyone who uses your computer can see what websites and pages you have visited.  You cannot completely clear it.  If you think this may happen, please use a safer computer, call your local shelter, or call the Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 1-844-303-SAFE. 

This toolkit tells you about getting a protective order to protect you from someone who has sexually assaulted you. FORMS ARE INCLUDED.

This toolkit includes:

  • Instructions & Forms you can use to file a  sexual assault protective order.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about sexual assault protective orders 
  • Articles on topics related to sexual assault protective orders.

Need Help?

For more information on organizations that may be able to help you try contacting:

WARNING! The information and forms in this toolkit are not legal advice and are not a substitute for the help of a lawyer. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

Checklists
Answers to Common Questions
What is sexual assault?

Under Texas law, it is sexual assault if anyone, male or female, made you have sex by using force or threatening to hurt you or someone close to you. Specifically, this can mean:

  • Someone put their penis, finger or other object in your vagina or anus by using force or harm;
  • Someone put their penis in your mouth by using force or threat of harm;
  • Someone put your penis or vagina in contact with the mouth, anus, penis or vagina of any other person, by using force or threat of harm.

It is also sexual assault if anyone ever made you do any of these things while you were unconscious, drunk or otherwise incapacitated.

Furthermore, it is sexual assault if any adult (a person older than 18) had sexual contact with you when you were under the age of 17.

How long does a Sexual Assault Protective Order remain in effect? When does it expire?

The duration of a sexual assault protective order can be from 2 years up to a lifetime.

Do I have to file a police report prior to requesting a Sexual Assault Protective Order?

No. However, if you did file a report, include that information in your petition.

Will the court charge me for applying for a Sexual Assault Protective Order?

By law, you cannot be charged any court fees associated with applying for a protective order. This includes filing fees and court costs.

Note: If you hire a private attorney to represent you in a protective order application, you will have to pay that attorney their attorney’s fees.

When getting a Sexual Assault Protective Order, can I keep my address and phone number confidential?
  • Yes. You can request that your home, work, school and daycare addresses and phone numbers be kept confidential. However, your county of residence will be disclosed through the application process.
  • To make your information confidential, you should file a document called “Confidential Information Not to be Disclosed” and list the information you want kept confidential. This document is included in the Sexual Assault Protective Order Kit. 
Whom do I contact for help with applying for a Sexual Assault Protective Order?
  • You can start by contacting your local county and district attorney’s office. They may apply on your behalf.
    • Note: You may also contact the county or district attorney’s offices in the county in which the respondent lives or where the assault occurred. You are eligible to apply for a protective order in any one of these counties.
  • You can also contact free legal aid organizations listed in our Legal Help directory they can apply for you as well.
  • You can hire a private attorney to apply for a sexual assault protective order for you.
  • You can also apply for a sexual assault protective order on your own with the forms included in this packet (this is called applying “pro se”).
Will the respondent be arrested for rape if I get a sexual assault protective order?

The protective order is a civil lawsuit and criminal charges are separate, criminal court actions. Each case has different requirements and one does not affect the other, except that if a record is made in the protective order hearing, the criminal court can introduceyour previous sworn testimony into evidence.

For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney before filing a protective order. It is also important to review your statements before court and make sure you are consistent with each one. Court can be stressful, especially is your abuser is present. The more you review your statement before court, the better prepared you will be.

Also note, it is OK to say you don’t remember something if you really don’t remember it. Attorneys in court may ask you for many details that you cannot remember. It is better to say you don’t remember than to try and guess.

Get free help

Watch the video below for information on a service that may be able to help you, for free.