Working to end violence

Please call our Hotline at 203.731.5206 to make a Safety Plan to stay with your partner or to leave.
Each person and situation is different.

If you are still in the relationship:

  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen)
  • Think about and make a list of safe people to contact
  • Keep pocket money and a cell phone with you at all times
  • Memorize all important numbers
  •  Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help
  • Think about what you will say to your partner if he/she becomes violent
  • Get a protective or restraining order

If you have left the relationship:

  • Change your phone number
  • Screen calls
  • Save and/or document all contacts, messages, injuries, or other incidents involving the batterer
  • Change locks, if the batterer has a key
  • Avoid staying alone
  • Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner
  • If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place
  • Vary your routine
  • Notify school and work contacts
  • Get a protective or restraining order


If possible, before you leave a relationship or think you are leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits and/or take legal action.

Important papers you should take include: social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children; your marriage license; leases or deeds in your name or both yours and your partner’s names; your checkbook; your charge cards; bank statements and charge account statements; insurance policies; proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2s); and any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.).


Restraining Order (Civil) or Temporary Restraining Order

A Restraining Order is an order you can apply for in civil court if there is a history of violence in your relationship. A judge will decide whether or not it will be granted. The judge can order your partner not to hurt or harass you. The judge may also order your partner to move out of your home and order that you have temporary custody of your children. There is no fee for filing a restraining order in court and the State pays for the marshals to serve restraining orders.

A protective order or restraining order may not help you if your partner does not care about breaking the law or following a court order. It is possible that your partner will not care about the order and that you will continue to be hurt even if you have an order.

If you have questions or concerns about protective and/or restraining orders, please call our Hotline at 203.731.5206. We also have staff members in court and at the Center who can possibly help you get protective orders.

Protective Orders (Criminal)

A Protective Order is made by a criminal court judge against a person who was arrested for stalking or a family crime. This order tells your partner not to hit you, harass you, contact your children, come to your home, come to your place of employment, any combination of these, or any protection the judge thinks is appropriate.

The protective order will last until the end of the criminal case, unless the judge has ended the protective order before then. The specific conditions of the protective order can be modified or changed by the judge at any time. Only a judge can change the order.