Whether you are a man, woman, or child, your personal safety should always be your number one priority. The world we live in can sometimes be a scary place, and there are bad people in it who can and do hurt innocent people. If you feel you or someone you know has reason to fear for their life or safety, it might be time to consider getting a Personal Protection Order (PPO). A PPO is an official legal document that can in many cases effectively deter malicious individuals from threatening, harassing, or harming you by inspiring fear of legal repercussions. There are three unique types of PPO’s including Domestic Relationship PPO, Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO, and lastly Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO. Which of these you may need may vary depending on your situation so before you run off and start requesting paperwork from your local law enforcement it’s best you take a moment to ask yourself: Which type of Personal Protection Order is right for me?
Domestic Relationship PPO
Feeling unsafe around those you thought you loved or cared about can be an intense and frightening situation, but a Domestic Relationship PPO may be able to protect you. In order to file for a Domestic Relationship PPO, you must be filing against someone who you have previously been in an intimate relationship with, this may include current or ex partners (spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, dates), the other parent of your child, and current or previous roommates. A Domestic Relationship PPO may protect you from a number of frightening scenarios, and you may in some cases even be able to request specific protections when filling out your paperwork, but just know that ultimately your judge will have the final say on what specific actions and behaviors your PPO will prohibit.
Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO
A stalker can be especially frightening because you have no idea who the person harassing you is, or what their intentions are. If you have noticed someone seemingly following you more than once, received several unwanted attempts at communication through phone, text, or email, or showing up where you live, work, or frequent, you may be entitled to request a Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO. A Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO can put a stop to harassment, and in some cases can even apply to “cyber-stalking.” Contact your local law enforcement if you think someone may be stalking you, and get more information about the specific restrictions enforced by a Non-Domestic (Stalking) PPO.
Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO
If you have been threatened with, or have already been a victim of, sexual assault, then you know all too well the seriousness of these types of situations. A Non-Domestic (Sexual Assault) PPO is a court order that can prevent your abuser from doing a comprehensive list of things that may frighten you or otherwise interfere with your life including communicating with you in any way, showing up at or entering your home or place of business, owning or buying a gun, threatening you in any way, and more. If you believe you have been sexually abused or you have been threatened with sexual assault, find somewhere safe and contact emergency services right away.
The most important thing you can do in any situation that makes you feel unsafe, or like your life is in imminent danger, is to contact your local authorities and report the situation. If you are still afraid, you can even stay on the line until help arrives. In cases involving domestic abuse it can be harder for victims to come forward, but in all cases, coming forward is an essential part of ensuring that no one gets hurt, or worse. If you have any specific questions or concerns related to Personal Protection Orders including how and where to get one, what it will say and what restrictions it may include, and what happens after you get one signed by a judge, contact your local police precinct or sheriffs office. Report your abuse today, and see how a Personal Protection Order can potentially save your life.