Hawaii

Get Help

If you are a victim and your abuser has a gun or you feel unsafe for other reasons, it is important to work with a victim advocate. The following organizations can help you find an advocate free of charge:

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 Hawaii Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, contact Hawaii Legal Aid at (808) 536-4302 for O’ahu or (800) 499-4302 for the Neighbor Islands.



How to Get Protection

What kind of domestic violence restraining orders are available in Hawaii?

Hawaii courts can issue two types of domestic violence restraining orders. In each of these orders, the court can help protect you from gun violence or threats of gun violence by an intimate partner:

  • Temporary restraining orders1*
  • Orders for protection2*

All respondents* to temporary restraining orders and orders for protection are prohibited by Hawaii law from possessing* firearms and are required to get rid of their firearms.3

How can you get a temporary restraining order or order for protection?

Click here to see if you are eligible for an temporary restraining order or order for protection in Hawaii.

You can find out more about how to get protection here or at WomensLaw.org.

You can find your local court here.

Court forms by region can be found here under “Family Court.”

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 order of protection), you might qualify for some other type of order. Contact VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846 or a lawyer for more information. You can find a lawyer using the Hawaii Bar’s website.. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Hawaii Legal Aid at (808) 536-4302 for O’ahu or (800) 499-4302 for the Neighbor Islands.

How can the court help protect you?

In Hawaii, respondents* to temporary restraining orders and orders for protection are prohibited from possessing* guns for as long as the order lasts.4 The respondent must either turn his/her/their firearms over to local law enforcement or sell their firearms to a licensed gun dealer. If the respondent does not get rid of their firearms within seven days of being served* with the order, law enforcement can take the firearms away.5

Law enforcement can also take the respondent’s firearms away when serving a temporary restraining order if they are in plain sight, if they are discovered during a consensual search, or if the respondent turns them over.6

At the petitioner’s request, sometimes courts provide additional protections from gun violence, such as:

  • Ordering the respondent to turn over firearms to local law enforcement immediately;
  • Ordering law enforcement to retrieve the respondent’s firearms immediately;
  • Prohibiting the respondent from buying new ones;
  • Requiring the respondent to appear before the court to self-report turning over their firearms as ordered;
  • Directing law enforcement to follow up with the respondent to make sure the respondent turned over their guns as ordered;
  • Scheduling a follow up compliance hearing* to ensure that the respondent 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 respondent to stay away from you, your children, your family, and anyone else in immediate danger, based on the threats and/or actions of the respondent;
  • Ordering the respondent 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 respondent’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 respondent’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 Hawaii Bar’s website. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Hawaii Legal Aid at (808) 536-4302 for O’ahu or (800) 499-4302 for the Neighbor Islands.

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 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.

This page was updated May 24, 2021. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.