Frequently Asked Questions
Emergency Protective Order Program
Client of the Teen Justice Initiative
(In reference to coming to Texas Advocacy Project as a teenager needing a Protective Order against her abusive boyfriend.) I feel that my family and myself are safer. I no longer want to be in that [dangerous] position and I don't want to be scared of someone who is supposed to love me. I just want to say that my attorney Bronwyn Blake is my hero, she is the best, and if I can I would like to tell my story & encourage other teens to do and make the right decision. (Name withheld to protect the confidentiality of the client.)
EPO attorneys contact victims within hours of their offenders' arrests to discuss their legal options and provide them with safety planning and other resources. After conducting a "lethality assessment" with the victim, an EPO attorney may recommend an Emergency Protective Order, a 30-91 day "stay-away" order that provides victims with time to make further decisions. The attorney's communicate requests for EPOs to the arraignment judges, prepare the Order and advocate for the granting of the Orders. Attorneys also follow-up with the victims in answering questions pertaining to the orders and providing further assistance with any other legal problems the victim may be facing.
Since the inception of the EPO Program the number of orders obtained by victims in Travis County have doubled.
EPO attorneys also train law enforcement, victim services personnel and shelter employees on the use of Emergency Orders and the dynamics of domestic violence. Past trainings have included the Texas Sheriff's Conference and the Attorney General's Winter Conference as well as year-round trainings with local law enforcement and judiciary.
In 2011, the Emergency Protective Order Program closed 1,605 cases, directly impacting the lives of 2,351 victims and their children.