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:
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE;
- VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846;
- The Kansas Crisis Hotline at (888) 363-2287;
- Any of the local domestic violence programs listed here.
It is also helpful to have a lawyer assist you, particularly when you are seeking a protection from abuse order. You can find a lawyer by contacting the Kansas Bar Association. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Kansas Legal Services and on the Kansas Judicial Branch website.
How to Get Protection
What kind of orders of protection from abuse are available in Kansas?
Kansas courts can issue three types of orders of protection from abuse. In one of these orders, the court can help protect you from gun violence or threats of gun violence by an intimate partner:
- Emergency orders of protection from abuse1*
- Temporary orders of protection from abuse2*
- Final orders of protection from abuse3*
In Kansas, some defendants* subject to final orders of protection from abuse are prohibited from possessing* firearms.4 In a final order of protection from abuse, courts can also order whatever relief* they believe is necessary to protect you, including requiring the defendant to get rid of his/her/their firearms to law enforcement and prohibiting them from getting new ones.5
How can you get an order of protection from abuse?
Click here to see if you are eligible for a protective order in Kansas.
You can find your local court here.
Court forms and Kansas’s official guide to getting a protection from abuse order 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 some other type of order. Contact VictimConnect at (855) 484-2846 or a lawyer for more information. You can find a lawyer by contacting the Kansas Bar Association. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Kansas Legal Services and on the Kansas Judicial Branch website.
How can the court help protect you?
In Kansas, if you are married, separated, or divorced from the defendant*, live or have lived with the defendant, or have children together, the defendant is automatically prohibited from possessing* firearms once the court issues a final order of protection from abuse.6
In a final order of protection from abuse, Kansas courts can also order whatever relief* they deem 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 in a final order of protection from abuse.7 Some of the things the court can order include:
- Requiring the defendant to turn over his/her/their firearms to local law enforcement immediately;
- Prohibiting the defendant from purchasing or possessing firearms while the order is in effect;
- Ordering law enforcement to retrieve the defendant’s firearms if the defendant does not turn them in as ordered by the court;
- 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 respondent 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 by contacting the Kansas Bar Association. If you cannot afford a lawyer, information about free- and low-cost legal help is available from Kansas Legal Services and on the Kansas Judicial Branch website.
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 a 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 himself/herself/themselves. This may be a sign that the defendant intends to use a dangerous weapon like a firearm against you, themselves, or other people;
- If you can, the type(s), number, and location of firearms the defendant has access to.