You get a protective order to keep you safe. It orders your ex to refrain from contacting you. The hope is that this will force your ex to keep their distance so that they do not harm or harass you.
What people sometimes forget is that a no-contact clause in a protective order really means no contact at all. It does not just mean not talking to you in person or not visiting your home or workplace. Those things are prohibited, but it could also mean:
- Not calling on the phone
- Not sending text messages
- Not writing letters
- Not sending direct messages on social media
- Not commenting on your social media posts
People sometimes accidentally violate their orders because they don’t realize just how far they may extend. Every order is different and the court specifically creates each one for that case. Someone may assume it just means no face-to-face contact and then send a Facebook message, but that message is also illegal.
Part of the reason for no-contact orders is that abuse goes beyond just physical abuse. It can include verbal abuse, emotional abuse and mental abuse. It may include threats and intimidation. It may just include insults and harassment. The court seeks to protect the person from whatever they have had to deal with in that relationship by legally cutting all ties between the two, not just by keeping them from physically occupying the same space.
If you are interested in getting a protective order or if you think someone else violated one that was already handed out, be sure you know what options you have.