When a woman leaves an abusive relationship, she has some legal options available that will help protect her.  In BC, there are three legal orders that can and are often used to protect a woman from an abusive former partner: a peace bond, a no-contact order and a restraining order.

A peace bond is an order given by a criminal court that requires a particular person to, eseentially, "keep the peace" for the duration of the peace bond order.  This means that the person must not be charged with criminal activity of any kind.  It is basically an order from the court for a person to maintain good behaviour and orderly conduct.  A peace bond is issued only if a person has not been charged with a crime (such as rape or assualt).

A no-contact order is another kind of legal order that is sometimes imposed on a person by a court.  A person under a no-contact order is not allowed to contact the person or people (usually the victim and sometimes her family, friends or co-workers) named in the order.  A judge may also include other points in a no-contact order, such as requiring the person to stay away from the victim's home or workplace.  No-contact includes all forms of contact, including in-person, by telephone and by email.

A restraining order is another common legal order that prevents a person from committing a specific act.  A judge can include any kind of act as a term of the restraining order.  One example is preventing a person from going onto the property of the school that his partner's children attend.  This kind of order is given under circumstances where a judge feels that the person is likely to try to carry out a particular act and makes it a crime for him to do so.

The differences between these three orders are subtle but all are designed to protect victims and their families.  If you feel afraid of or threatened by your abusive partner, you should speak to the RCMP.  They can advise you about what your legal rights are and how best to legally protect yourself from potential harassment and violence from your partner.