***If danger is imminent or you are afraid, call 911 for police NOW***
For 24-Hour information and immediate emotional support:
YWCA Women’s Crisis Center/Safehouse 24-hour hotline for domestic violence -
YWCA Wichita has both staff and volunteers who provide a wide variety of help for victims of domestic violence.
You can get immediate information and help with any of these needs from the 24-hour hotline for domestic violence, (316) 267-7233.
Protection Orders for Domestic Violence and Stalking
You can only file for a protection order one place in Sedgwick County. That is at the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 525 N. Main, Wichita, KS. There is no charge to file a Protection Order.
We advise that you have an advocate help you complete the application so it is easy for a judge to follow. The YWCA’s Court Advocate can be reached at her office at the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 660-5703. You may also call the YWCA Crisis Line at 267-SAFE (7233).
To obtain a Protection Order, you must first complete an application. Allow 2 hours to complete an application and take it to a judge, who usually will approve a temporary order that same day. These are usually done informally between 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
The Protection Order can prohibit your abuser or stalker (called the respondent in legal language) from trying to see you at home, at work or any other location, or harassing you by phone, e-mail, etc. If you live with your abuser, the judge may prohibit him or her from living in your home. Temporary custody and visitation orders may be entered if there are children.
For a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order you will need:
- To be currently living with your abuser or have lived together in the past
- To be in dating relationship with your abuser or have been in a dating relationship in the past
- Have a child in common with your abuser
- Incidents as examples of physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, or threats of bodily harm. Having the date is helpful. If there incidents with witnesses, that’s a plus.
- All addresses you can think of where your abuser might be served with the Protection Order, starting with the abuser's work and home address, plus the addresses of relatives or hangouts in case the servers are unable to find the abuser at home or work. The process servers in the County Sheriff's office make every effort to serve Protection Orders as soon as possible, but must be able to find the abuser.
For a Protection from Stalking Order (PFS) you will need:
- The name of the stalker
- Two or more acts of harassment that put you in fear for you personal safety. These acts can have no legitimate purpose. Having the date is helpful. If there are incidents with witnesses, that’s a plus.
- All addresses you can think of where your stalker might be served with the Protection Order, starting with the stalker’s work and home address, plus the addresses of relatives or hangouts in case the servers are unable to find the stalker at home or work. The process servers in the County Sheriff's office make every effort to serve Protection Orders as soon as possible, but must be able to find the stalker.
If the judge approves the temporary order, it becomes effective as soon as it is served on the respondent. Before leaving the Sedgwick County Courthouse you will be given a court date approximately two weeks away. The court date is to finalize the Protection Order for one year. Attorney’s are present at the PFA hearing and will represent you at no charge. You may also hire your own attorney if you prefer. If you wish to have an attorney represent you at the PFS hearing you will need to hire your own. An advocate is available to accompany you to this hearing. Call 660-5703 or 267-SAFE (7233) and ask to speak to an advocate.
If you do not attend the court date the temporary order is dismissed and you have no protection. Each person is only allowed to file two Protection Orders in a twelve-month period. Talk to the advocate about this and any other questions.
Protection Orders may be renewed for one additional year if danger or harassment continues to be a concern. You will need to file a motion to extend the Protection Order approximately one month before it expires.
A Protection Order is a serious legal document. You should be committed to enforcing the order, and abiding by it. If you start socializing with the respondent, or let him or her move back in with you, it makes it appear that the Protection Order is not necessary. Not taking your Protection Order seriously makes it difficult for the police and legal system to hold offenders accountable. If victims fail to follow the Protection Order they requested, it may impair response to serious danger putting you at greater risk.
If the Protection Order is violated, call the police as soon as possible. If the respondent is present when the police arrive, he or she may be taken to jail. The City Prosecutor or Sedgwick County District Attorney may file a criminal charge. A criminal charge may be filed without consulting you, depending on circumstances.
Leaving a relationship is often the most dangerous time you will face.
Abusers want power and control, and may become more violent if they are going to lose that power over a partner or family.
A Personal Safety Plan can help you leave your home or a dating relationship as safely as possible. It will help you with advance planning so you have safe places you can go, and help you plan for needs like clothing, other important belongings, and access to things like bank accounts. A safety plan has other important information to keep you safe.
- A Safety Plan can also help you feel safer if you have been raped or sexually assaulted.
- A YWCA advocate can help you make a safety plan that is right for you.
- The YWCA can provide special 911 Emergency Cell Phones to allow access to help in an emergency
- The YWCA can provide domestic violence or sexual assault victims with a free cell phone programmed only to call 911.
- Support for Court Appearances
- A YWCA advocate staff can refer you to lawyers and other legal help, and will accompany you to court proceedings to provide emotional support. Facing your abuser or attacker can be a traumatic experience.
PLEASE DEVELOP A SAFETY PLAN - IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Call YWCA Crisis Line, 267-SAFE (7233), and ask for an advocate who can talk with you about safety planning.