Temporary Restraining Orders

What is a Temporary Restraining Order? 

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a compelling legal option for anyone facing domestic violence.  It is a court order that protects a person or persons from physical, mental, verbal, or other types of abuse.  It can require the abuser to keep at least 100 yards away from the victim, enforceable by arrest.  It can be filed against a spouse, ex-spouse, parent of a child, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandparent, a family member who is related to you by blood, or other family members living together. And it can prohibit the abuser from possessing or purchasing  firearms.

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Hawaii?  Hawaii law defines “domestic abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following things between family or household members:

  • physical harm/ bodily injury/ assault;
  • the threat of imminent physical harm/ bodily injury/ assault;
  • extreme psychological abuse (ongoing behavior/actions towards you that seriously disturbs or continually bothers you and has no purpose, causing you extreme emotional distress);
  • malicious property damage (purposely causing damage to your property to try and cause you emotional distress)
  • sexual offenses committed by an adult against a child.

At Women Helping Women, an advocate will help prepare TRO’s that meet the criteria of domestic violence defined by the Hawaii Revised Statues Chapter 586-1. We will assist petitioners (persons needing a TRO) in preparing court documents, filing instructions, and safety planning.

Our advocates will accompany petitioners at their TRO court hearings and will support them in the courtroom; however, we are not attorneys and cannot give you legal advice. For any questions regarding TRO’s, custody, or other legal matters, you may contact Legal Aid or a Family Court Attorney who is registered within the State of Hawaii.

Women Helping Women is committed to ending domestic violence in our communities, and we are here to offer support and safety to those who are in abusive relationships. You are not alone… we can help.

Please call or message us for information on our weekly support group. 


If you do not meet the above criteria you must file through District Court.

For more information call Women Helping Women’s TRO department directly at (808) 446-7379.   Office hours are generally 8am-4pm Mon-Fri.