For a Temporary Restraining Order against an abuser who is related by blood or marriage, or you have had children with, or if either of you are under eighteen and have had a significant dating / engagement relationship together in the last six months, you must go to the Family Court. If you have had a dating relationship in the last six months and you are both over eighteen years old, you must go to the District Court.
Once at the proper court, you must fill out an affidavit, which is a sworn written statement about the incident or incidents that have lead you to fear for your safety. The affidavit will be reviewed by a judge in your presence and the judge may ask you questions. If the judge signs the order, it is good for up to twenty-one (21) days. The abuser will then be served with the order by a court officer.
If you want the order extended beyond the twenty-one days, you must appear at a hearing the date for which will be put on the Temporary Restraining Order. Your abuser will be required to appear so you may want to be escorted.
Emergency restraining orders are also available (after court hours) through the shift commander of any local police department.
If you need more information about obtaining a temporary restraining order, please contact the station. For assistance in obtaining a temporary restraining order, or for any information regarding domestic violence issues, including stalking, temporary shelter, assistance in court, etc., please contact Sojourner House* at 765-3232 or 658-4334.
Also see our Domestic Violence page.
Other important numbers:
RI Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit*
729-4480 or 729-4483
RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence*
Confidential 24 hour assistance
467-9940 or 1-800-494-8100
Providence Courthouse Temporary Restraining Order Office
(covers Family and District Courts)
Rhode Island Legal Services
1-800-662-5034 or 274-2652
Department of Elderly Affairs
Victims aged 60 and older
462-3000 toll free in RI
Rhode Island Rape Crisis Center*
421-4100 (call collect)
* These agencies DO NOT use Caller ID and returned calls are always BLOCKED for your protection.