Emergency Protective Orders

Keep the Offender Away

Space to catch your breath and think

An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is a 31-91 day "stay-away" order that provides victims with time to make further decisions. It keeps the offender away from the victim for a long enough period of time for the victim to figure out what to do next.

The Project's Emergency Protective Order (EPO) services make sure that you know and understand your rights regarding domestic violence.  We also make sure that you know how to access safety resources and supportive programs available to you.


How EPOs Works

Attorneys contact victims of family violence within hours of their offenders' arrests to discuss their legal options and rights and provide them with safety planning and other resources.

First, an attorney conducts a "lethality assessment" with the victim.  A lethality assessment is a way to determine if a victim is in immediate danger.

After that, an attorney may recommend an Emergency Protective Order

Attorneys then take care of the entire legal process for getting the Emergency Protective Order in place.  They communicate requests for EPOs to the judges in charge, prepare the Orders, and advocate for the granting of the Orders. Attorneys follow up with the victims in answering questions about the Emergency Protective Orders.  They also help with any other legal problems the victim may be facing.

Attorneys train law-enforcement, victim services personnel, and shelter employees on the use of Emergency Protective 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.


Frequently Asked Questions


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