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Asking the Court for Protection

Getting a Pro Se Domestic Abuse Protective Order

On July 1, 1991, Iowa law made it easier to get an order for protection from domestic abuse, known as a “Pro Se” no-contact or protective order under Iowa Criminal Code Chapter 236. Essentially, this is a court order telling a batterer they must stay away from the intimate partner they are abusing.

Every courthouse in Iowa has forms you can use to apply for a “Pro Se” protection order on your own, without an attorney. “Pro Se” means that you act as your own attorney. DVIP has advocates who are familiar with this application and how to get this type of order; they can accompany you to court. If you have questions about your situation, contact a DVIP advocate at 800-373-1043.

What can a Pro Se Protective Order do for me?

Under this law, and provided you meet the requirements, the court can do many things to protect you, for example order:

  • That your partner stop abusing you.
  • That your partner leave the house or apartment.
  • That your partner provide you with some other place to stay.
  • That your partner stay away from where you live, where you go to school and where you work.
  • Who will have custody of the children and special precautions for their safety.
  • Visitation of the children with special arrangements for when the abuser can visit the children and how he can visit, without having any contact with you
  • Financial support for your children and you.
  • Counseling for you, for the abuser, and for the children. You or the abuser will probably have to pay for any court-ordered counseling.

This information about the Pro Se Domestic Abuse Protective Order is general. For more specific details, the court process and additional community resources contact a DVIP advocate at our 24-hour Hotline: 800-373-1043

Crime Victim Compensation Program

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury from a violent crime, the Crime Victim Compensation Program may be able to help. This program was created to help victims with the many costs of violent crime. For more information, requirements and limits of financial support contact a domestic violence program advocate or the:

Crime Victim Compensation Program
Attorney General’s Office
Old Historical Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-5044

Reprinted and adapted from materials developed by the Crime Victim Compensation Program of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

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