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Sexual Abuse Protection Order

Sexual Abuse Protection Orders are the least common restraining order in Oregon. Most people call this restraining order a "SAPO." Even though this order is called a “protection order,” it is the same thing as a restraining order.  

If you need help leaving an unsafe situation, you can: 

You can apply for a SAPO if all these statements are true: 

  1. Someone had sexual contact with you without your consent.   
  2. The person who abused you was not someone you previously had a sexual or romantic relationship with. (This person can be a roommate, co-worker, supervisor, neighbor, friend, acquaintance, or a relative.*)   
  3. You have good reasons to think that the person who abused you will physically hurt you.  
  4. There is no other court order telling the person to stop contacting you. 
  5. You or the other person live in Oregon.  
  6. The other person is an adult 18 or older.   

*You can only get a SAPO against a relative if you are a minor (under 18). If you're an adult (18 or older) who was sexually abused by a relative, you can't get a SAPO, but you may be eligible for another restraining order.   

If you are thinking of applying for a SAPO, you may want to get legal help first. The eligibility rules are very strict. You can find legal help using the Referral Database

Yes, but only if you are between the ages of 12 and 18. If you are under 12, you must apply for a SAPO with the help of a parent, a legal guardian, or a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is someone who protects another person’s interests in a court case.  

It depends. If there is a court order in the criminal case that says the other person can't contact you (called a criminal no contact order), you cannot get a SAPO. But if this no contact order goes away, you could get a SAPO at that time.   

If the police are still investigating and there is no criminal case yet, you may want to talk to the police before you apply for a SAPO. Sometimes, getting a SAPO can affect the police investigation.     

You may also want to talk to a sexual assault advocate to get help applying for a SAPO. You can find help in your area at the Oregon Sexual Assault Taskforce website.   

You can ask the court to include rules in your SAPO to stop the other person from:  

  • Contacting you; 
  • Intimidating you;  
  • Threatening you or the people you live with; or  
  • Going near your home or other places you go often. 

No two restraining orders are the same. You can choose which protections you need to stay safe. You can also ask a judge for custom protections if there are other things that will help you stay safe.  

If the other person does not follow your SAPO, you can call the police for help.

Yes. You will have to provide details about your sexual abuse in your application (called a Petition) for a SAPO.  

When you turn in your application, you will also meet with a judge who will review your application. The judge may ask you more questions about your abuse. For more information on how to get a restraining order, go here.   

You may also have to go to a contested hearing if the other side disagrees with your restraining order. At a contested hearing, you will have to testify under oath about your sexual abuse. For more information on contested hearings, visit the contested hearings page

You can visit this page for more information on how to get a SAPO. 

In certain cases, the judge can make your SAPO permanent. Most of the time, your SAPO will last for five years, or until January 1 after you turn 18, whichever is later.  

You can also ask to end your order early if you don’t need it any longer by turning in a Motion to Terminate a Sexual Abuse Protection Order at the court. 

Yes. If you need your restraining order to stay in place longer, you can turn in a Petition to Renew Sexual Abuse Protective Order at the court where you got your SAPO. A judge can extend your restraining order if they believe you still need protection. A SAPO can be extended for five years at a time.     

If you want to extend your restraining order, you must turn in an application with the court before your restraining order ends. The other party can disagree by asking for another court hearing with a judge. 

Yes, both sides can ask for a change to a SAPO order using the Modifying a Sexual Abuse Protection Order packet of forms. Turn in these forms at the court where you got your SAPO.

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