If you are a victim and your abuser has a gun or you feel unsafe for other reasons, it is important to ∫. The following organizations can help you find an advocate free of charge:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE;
- The Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Hotline (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday) at (800) 782-6400 or by online chat;
- VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846;
- Any of the local domestic violence programs or dual domestic violence/sexual assault program listed here.
It is also helpful to have a lawyer assist you, particularly when you are seeking an order of protection. You can find a lawyer using the Arizona Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from AZLawHelp.
How to Get Protection
What kind of domestic violence orders of protection are available?
Arizona courts can issue two types of domestic violence orders of protection. In both of these orders, the court can help protect you from gun violence or threats of gun violence by an intimate partner:
- Emergency orders of protection1*
- Orders of protection2*
Courts can prohibit some defendants* subject to emergency orders of protection and orders of protection from purchasing or possessing* firearms.3 If the court prohibits a defendant subject to an order of protection from possessing a firearm, he/she/they must turn over their firearms to law enforcement immediately when the order is served* or within 24 hours of receiving the order.4 In an order of protection, a court can also order anything else it believes is necessary to protect you.5
How can you get an emergency order of protection or order of protection?
Click here to see if you are eligible for an emergency order of protection or order of protection in Arizona.
You can find your local municipal court here.
Court forms can be found here.
What do I do if I do not qualify for protection as a victim of domestic violence but I still need protection from someone? If you do not qualify for protection as a victim of domestic violence but need protection from someone (including a stranger, an acquaintance, or another person not covered under a domestic violence protection order), you might qualify for an injunction against harassment. Contact the Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Hotline (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday) at (800) 782-6400 or by online chat; VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846; or a lawyer for more information. You can find a lawyer using the Arizona Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from AZLawHelp.
How can the court help protect you?
In Arizona, courts can prohibit defendants* subject to emergency orders of protection and orders of protection from purchasing or possessing* firearms in certain circumstances.6* If the court prohibits a defendant subject to an order of protection from possessing a firearm, he/she/they must surrender their firearms to law enforcement immediately when the order is served* or within 24 hours of receiving the order.7 In an order of protection, an Arizona court can also order whatever relief* it believes is necessary to protect you – this means that if your case is not fully covered under the law cited above, a court can still protect you from gun violence.8 Some of the things a court can order include:
- Requiring the defendant to turn over firearms to local law enforcement immediately;
- Ordering law enforcement to take the defendant’s firearms away if the defendant does not turn them in within 24 hours;
- Requiring the defendant to appear before the court to self-report turning over their firearms as ordered;
- Directing law enforcement to follow up with the defendant to make sure the defendant turned over their guns as ordered;
- Scheduling a follow up compliance hearing* to ensure that the defendant has not accessed additional firearms since the order was issued;
- Ordering law enforcement to go to your home at scheduled times to check in on your safety;
- Ordering the defendant to stay away from you, your children, your family, and anyone else in immediate danger, based on the threats and/or actions of the defendant;
- Ordering the defendant not to hurt you or threaten to hurt you in the future;
- Anything else you need to be safe.
How will the court know what you need to protect you from the defendant’s firearms violence?
In your petition* and during any of the hearings* you participate in when you are seeking protection, you will have the opportunity to tell the court about the defendant’s* threats or acts of abuse, especially ones involving firearms. Every situation is different, and it is important to talk to a lawyer about your specific situation. You can find a lawyer using the Arizona Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from AZLawHelp.
Your story will help the court decide what relief* to give you. Whether you are filling out court forms or speaking directly to the court, it is important for you to tell the court about the violence you experienced (working with your lawyer, if you have one), especially if the defendant used or threatened to use a firearm against you, a member of your family, any member of the community, or your pet. Among other things, this may include telling the court:
- About incidents of physical violence or threats of physical violence and include dates wherever you can;
- How the defendant used firearms to hurt or threaten you, your family, your pet(s), or anyone in the community;
- If you fear that the defendant may use firearms violence or threats of firearms violence in the future;
- If the defendant has threatened to harm him/her/themself. This may be a sign that the defendant intends to use a dangerous weapon like a firearm against you, themself, or other people;
- If you can, the type(s), number, and location of firearms the defendant has access to.