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Sexual Assault Protective Orders: What are they and who can get one?

Protective Orders

This article tells you what sexual assault protective orders are and who can get one. This article was written by Advocates for Victims of Crime (AVOICE) at the Texas Legal Services Center.

What is a Sexual Assault Protective Order (SAPO)?

This 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”

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.

Does the respondent have to have been arrested in order to obtain a Sexual Assault Protective Order?

No.

Can I apply for a Sexual Assault Protective Order if I was or am in a relationship with the respondent?

Yes. Sexual assault by a stranger, relative, spouse or friend are all situations in which you may apply for a sexual assault protective order.

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