If you want to change any part of the order, then you
and the respondent must appear in court to modify the OP. If you got the
OP with the help of an attorney, contact him or her to ask how to change
the order by agreement.
If you give the respondent permission to move back
into the home, the respondent will be in violation of the order and could
be arrested unless you both go to court to change the order. However, you
cannot be arrested for violating your own order. Remember, you can keep
the rest of the OP, such as prohibiting the respondent from abusing and
harassing you, in full force even if the order is changed to allow the
abuser to move back in with you. Be sure that you assess the safety of
living with the abuser before you make this decision.
Safety Planning. . .
You should develop a safety plan for
yourself and your children. It is important to have a plan of action in
the event that the abuser does violate the OP in a violent manner. This
safety plan will help you be prepared in the event of an attack. Here are
some things you can do to keep you and your children safe:
- Tell your neighbors you have an OP and to call the
police if they see the abuser on the property or attempting to get inside the
- If he is threatening you, call the police and ask
them to keep an extra watch on your home.
- Keep a copy of the OP in your purse so you have it in
case you have to leave.
- Pack a suitcase and keep it someplace where you have
immediate access to it in case you have to leave.
- Make sure you have quick access to your keys, purse
and other important items such as medical cards, credit cards, bank
checks, birth certificates, lease, Public Aid ID, etc.
- During an attack try to move to a room with an easy
exit. Try to avoid the bathroom or kitchen or anywhere near potential
- Call the police as soon as you possibly can. Also,
save as much evidence as you can. Call Life Span or any area shelters for
more information on safety planning.