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*The information in this article is not legal advice but strictly information about protection orders for educational purposes only. 

what is a protection order?
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After leaving an abusive relationship, the last thing you need is your ex harassing or threatening you. You have the right to BE and FEEL safe. However, if you are being stalked, threatened or harassed, you may benefit from getting a protection order. 

So, what is a protection order?

What is a Protection Order?

A protection order, also known as a no-contact order, is a court order that prevents the person abusing you from seeing or contacting you. There may also be other conditions on the protection order that the person needs to follow. 

There are several different types of no-contact orders. Depending on your situation, you can apply for one of them to help keep yourself safe. 

Please be aware that the names and types of protection orders may vary from place to place, so you need to know what is available where you live. I will be talking about protection orders found in my area in Alberta, Canada. 

Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

Emergency Protection Orders (EPO) are for urgent and emergency situations. They are used in situations where there is family violence. This means that the person causing harm may be ordered to stay away from you, stop seeing you or even move out of the home. 

When can you get an EPO?

  • A family member has committed violence against you
  • You have a reason(s) to believe the abusive person will continue to hurt you
  • Your situation is urgent and serious and you need a protection order right away to protect you and/or your family. Often the abuse has happened recently, preferably in the last 24 hours. 

You can get an EPO 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

In order to get an EPO you need to go through a provincial court or see a justice of the peace in person or over the phone. Again, this process may differ depending on where you live. 

King’s Bench Protection Order (KBPO)

A King’s Bench Protection Order (KBPO), formerly known as a Queen’s Bench Protection Order, is a protection order that you can get if you are experiencing family violence and you aren’t eligible for an EPO. This order can order the person abusing you to stop contacting you, move out of the home, stay away from you and allow you to use certain property. 

When can you get a KBPO?

  • When you are experiencing family violence
  • When your situation is not urgent unlike an EPO
what is a no-contact order?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Be aware that a KBPO requires you to give the abusive person a copy of the KBPO application. This means they will be aware of what you are applying for. An EPO does not require this. 

A hearing is required to grant this protection order, you cannot apply via phone or provincial court. 

To apply for a KBPO you need to fill out two forms (Originating Application – Protection Against Family Violence Act (Form 7) and King’s Bench Protection Order Questionnaire (Form FL-13)) which you can find here.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is an order where the abusive person is ordered to stay away from you and not contact you. They do not need to be a family member but could be a co-worker, dating partner, roommate, etc. This is a different requirement from that of an EPO or KBPO. 

If you are in an emergency situation you can apply for a restraining order without notice (you don’t need to notify the abusive person). Otherwise, you would inform the abusive person that you are applying for a restraining order. 

When can you get a restraining order?

  • If you are not able to get a EPO or KBPO then you can apply for a restraining order
  • If you have a legitimate fear for your own and/or your children’s safety or even property
  • If you are experiencing harassment such as threats, stalking, repeated phone calls

You can only apply for a restraining order during court hours. 

A restraining order is often good for a year, but can be granted for longer or permanently. 

Exclusive Possession Order

If your relationship has broken down, and you and your partner cannot live peacefully together, then this order may be right for you. For example, if you are experiencing domestic violence, the court could order the abusive person to leave the home and you can stay. 

You can apply if you rent or own the home, and your name does not need to be on the lease or the title of the home.

When can you get an exclusive possession order? 

  • You and your partner cannot live peacefully together (domestic violence)
  • If you need exclusive possession of a family vehicle, pets, or household items in order to take care of your children and yourself
  • When your safety is at risk and you need your abusive partner to stop entering or going near the home

You need to apply for this order in the court of the King’s Bench. It is best to have a lawyer represent you.

no contact order domestic violence
Photo by Fernanda Baquero

Peace Bond

A peace bond can be given to someone whom the court believes is highly likely to re-offend but has yet to do so. Basically, the person is ordered to “keep the peace” for a defined length of time. 

For example, if your abusive partner has been charged with assault, the Crown Prosecutor may withdraw the charges if your partner enters into a peace bond. 

When to apply for a peace bond?

  • If you are afraid someone will harm you, your child, partner or your property
  • If you are afraid someone will share intimate content of you without your consent

You need to know that a peace bond can take a long time to get (probably a few months) so if you need support right away, try applying for another protection order.

Family Violence vs. Domestic Violence

Family violence and domestic violence are not seen as exactly the same thing. 

For the purpose of applying for a protection order, it is important you know the difference between family and domestic violence.

According to the Protection Against Family Violence Act the following are considered family members:

  • someone you are or were married to
  • someone you are in an adult interdependent with or were in such a relationship with
  • a person who lives with you, or used to live with you, and you are in an intimate relationship with
  • a parent of your child, whether they have lived with you or not
  • someone you are related to by blood, marriage, adoption or an adult interdependent relationship (including adult children and in-laws)
  • a child in your care and custody
  • someone you live with and has care and custody over you

Domestic violence refers to abuse that is experienced by a person’s current or former intimate partner or spouse. Click here for more information on “What is Domestic Violence?”

Protection Orders and Christianity

To the best of my knowledge, the Bible doesn’t speak about protection orders. There isn’t specific instruction as to whether a Christian should or should not apply for one.

I guarantee you that some women (if not yourself?!) feel guilty about wanting to apply for a no-contact order, and wonder if they are being a “bad Christian.”

Here are my thoughts. 

The Bible says that we are to guard our hearts:

toxic relationships
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“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 AMP

God instructs us to protect ourselves from harm, including from toxic people who damage our mental, emotional and physical health. 

So, sometimes we need help from the courts, government or social welfare system to help us be safe. 

Don’t feel guilt or shame if you are being abused and need to take action to protect yourself and your kids. 

It’s true that God honors marriage, and doesn’t like divorce, but God doesn’t want you to subject yourself to an abusive situation. 

Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe.

I hope you have gained some clarity as to what a protection order is, and which one may be right for you. Each no-contact order has its own purpose and conditions that are meant to hold the abusive person accountable while keeping you safe.

You are not powerless.

There are steps you can take to create a safer environment for yourself, where you can have peace, and focus on your healing. 

Share this article with other survivors, family and friends to help us raise awareness of domestic violence and educate the church (links at the top of page).

We are stronger together.

He is faithful,

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the free Ebook, “5 Ways You Can Invite Jesus Into Your Healing: After Domestic Violence.” Click here! 

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