There are many forms of abuse that a person may experience over the course of an unhealthy relationship. Typically, these different forms of abuse are used to try and maintain power and control over the other person. If someone chooses to end the relationship it is not a guarantee that the abuse will stop, which is where we often see a shift in abusive tactics and we often see abusers use different forms of stalking to try and continue to exhibit power and control over the other person. In Idaho, if someone is experiencing certain stalking behaviors there is a way to utilize the court system for certain forms of safety and relief, which can be done by filing a civil protection order.
There are two civil protection order statutes in the state of Idaho, one of which is a stalking/threats statute. Typically, a judge can grant a civil protection order under this statute if a person is able to show the judge that within the past 90 days, they have experienced stalking, telephone threats, or threats because they belong to a protected class. Although this statute provides opportunity for some sort of protection from the courts, there is still a gap in the statute due to the narrow definitions of stalking/threats, which often leaves those experiencing this type of behavior from being able to access this form of safety. In addition to often leaving individuals without the ability to qualify for a civil protection order, the statutes themselves can often be confusing and can leave people feeling like what they are experiencing isn’t concerning. At the WCA, Court Advocates are able to provide safety planning appointments to those experiencing any form of abuse, including stalking, from their current or former partner, and can work with someone to create an individualized plan that focuses on implementing new ideas and tools to feel safer at home or in the community.
For more information about civil protection orders and/or safety planning please call a Court Advocate at 208-343-3688 ext 200.