In domestic violence cases in the District of Columbia, when the abuser is someone who is or has NOT been related to you somehow or a member of your household, you file for a “Restraining Order”.

You would specifically file a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) or Motion for Temporary and Preliminary Injunction and a Request for Emergency Hearing. However, you may apply for a Preliminary Injunction without first obtaining or seeking a TRO.

Victims of stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse are exempted from having to follow the above process for a Restraining Order and may proceed under the Intrafamily Offense/Domestic Violence Branch Process  even if they are NOT related to or in the same household as the abuser.