Obtaining A Protective Order

Anyone who has experienced stalking, dating violence, domestic violence or family violence may be eligible to file for a protective order. These crimes can be dangerous and invoke a great deal of fear and anxiety, which may impact many aspects of a victim’s life. A protective order is one action that can assist victims to begin to feel safe again. Below is information about protective orders in the state of Georgia, eligibility requirements and a link to obtain the forms for filing. Contact Student Victim Assistance for assistance with the filing process or if you have questions.

Obtaining a Stalking Protective Order
The state of Georgia prohibits stalking. Individuals who experience stalking may petition the court for an order of protection against a stalker.

A stalking protective order is a court document that requires an individual to stop engaging in stalking behavior. A stalking protective order is typically for up to one year, but can be extended for three years, or be permanent. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for resources for completing a protective order.

Eligibility
Individuals who are being followed, harassed or intimidated and fear for their safety can file a petition for a protective order. Individuals do not need to have an intimate relationship with, or be related to, the person stalking them in order to be eligible for a protective order. Individuals can file against anyone who is stalking them.* The stalker does not have to be arrested in order for someone to be eligible for a protective order from stalking. Additionally, if someone obtains a protective order, he or she can still pursue criminal charges against the stalker.

* O.C.G.A. § 16-5-94(a)

Obtaining a Family Violence Protective Order
The Georgia Family Violence Act is a law to protect people who are abused by present or past spouses, parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children or other persons living or formerly living in the same household. It can also be used to get temporary custody, financial support and other assistance for the abused person.

A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a court document that requires an individual to stop engaging in domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. A TPO is typically for one year, but can be extended for three years or be permanent. Contact Student Victim Assistance for additional information and assistance with filing a TPO. For additional support options, see resources.

Eligibility
Atlanta Victim Assistance provides information to help in understanding protection orders. According to Atlanta Victim Assistance, individuals are eligible to file for a Temporary Protection Order if they have experienced acts of violence from a spouse, ex-spouse, parent, stepparent, foster parent, child, stepchild, foster child, any person who lives or lived in their household as if part of the family or the mother or father of their child, even if they have never lived with the victim or has never been married to the victim.

Family Violence Protective Order forms are available online through the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority.