If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault, help is available. Various protections are offered to sexual abuse victims in Kansas. These protections include getting a restraining order against the abuser, keeping your identity anonymous during legal claims and protecting your address from the attacker. Start by reaching out to a sexual assault attorney at DRZ Law for a free and confidential consultation about your rights.
Orders of Protection
The first line of defense for a sexual abuse victim is often obtaining an order of protection, also known as a restraining order. Under the Kansas Protection From Abuse Act (Revised Statutes 60-3101-3111), orders of protection can be granted by the courts to promote the protection of victims of domestic violence or abuse. There are multiple types of protection orders available in Kansas for victims of abuse and domestic violence, including physical, mental, verbal and sexual abuse.
Emergency Protection From Abuse Order
An emergency protection order can be requested by calling 911 when you need immediate protection and the courts are closed. In this case, the district court judge who is on call can sign your emergency order if he or she believes that you or your child is in immediate danger. An emergency protection order will only be valid until 5:00 p.m. the next business day that the courthouse is open.
Temporary Ex Parte Protection From Abuse Order
Before an emergency protection order expires, a victim can file for a temporary ex parte protection from abuse order. The district court can grant this request without giving prior notice to the abuser if a judge believes that the petitioner is in immediate danger. An ex parte protection order will last until the final hearing, which in Kansas typically occurs within 21 days.
Final Protection From Abuse Order
Once a final hearing has taken place – in which you and the abuser will have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses to a judge – a judge may award a final protection from abuse order. This order can last for up to one year but may be extended in certain situations. A final order could be extended to two years upon motion of the plaintiff, up to the lifetime of the defendant if a court determines that the defendant has violated a valid protection order, has previously violated a protection order or has been convicted of certain crimes.
Protection From Stalking, Sexual Assault or Human Trafficking
Under Kansas law, in addition to protection from abuse orders, victims of sexual assault, abuse and stalking can also seek a Protection From Stalking, Sexual Assault, or Human Trafficking (PFSSAHT) order. A PFSSAHT is a court order that bans a perpetrator from contacting you, following you and/or harassing you.
This type of protection order is available in situations that do not involve domestic violence or a relationship with the perpetrator. To obtain this type of order, you or your attorney must prove that the accused party sexually assaulted or stalked you. Unlike a criminal case, however, the burden of proof is “more likely than not” rather than “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Other Protections for Sexual Abuse Victims in Kansas
Kansas abuse victims may also benefit from housing protections, such as the Kansas Safe at Home Program, which can keep a victim’s address and location confidential. There are also legal protections if a victim decides to come forward with a civil lawsuit. The survivor can keep his or her identity anonymous, for example, and legally does not have to testify in court. If you need help protecting yourself as an abuse victim in Kansas or wish to discuss your legal rights in detail, contact DRZ Law for a confidential consultation.