In relationships plagued by domestic violence, a protective order provides a legal means to keep an abuser away. The terms of a protective order vary according to the severity of each case. Courts in South Dakota generally set these orders to last for one to five years.
Once a local court has been petitioned to grant a protective order, the judge reviews the evidence and selects the appropriate provisions to protect the domestic violence victim. A no-contact provision bars an abuser from communicating with the person by phone, text, and email. The order also prohibits physical approach. In less threatening cases, peaceful contact might be allowed if the abuser needs to discuss the care and transport of children with the victim. Often, an order will require the abuser to stay back from the person by at least 100 yards. With this provision, the abuser cannot come near the person's home, car, workplace or school. Other options available to authorities include ordering an abuser to move out or attend counseling.
If you have questions or need help completing the protective order forms, contact an advocate at the Artemis House. We can provide assistance even if you do not need housing at our shelter.