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Crime Victim Assistance
Sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking are violent crimes frequently committed against women, men, and children.  Crime victims are often afraid to talk about what has happened to them.  They may be unsure how the court system works, or they may be afraid of what will happen to them, their family, or the perpetrator.  While these are common and normal fears, there are places that you can go for assistance.  

As a victim you may be eligible to receive compensation through the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program.  Contact an advocate for more information or go to the Ohio Attorney General’s website under the Victim Services section.

Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program 1-800-584-2846 http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Victims

VINE (Victim Information & Notification Everyday) 1-800-770-0192   www.vinelink.com



SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexual assault is a categorical term, not a criminal charge.  Several different charges fall into this category, each is determined by the allegation.  In general terms, sexual assault occurs when someone forces or coerces you into a sex act against your wishes (without your consent).  Some of the crimes in this category are Rape, Sexual Battery, and Gross Sexual Imposition.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
  • Seek medical care at a local emergency room for any injuries and for a SANE/SAFE exam, if the assault occurred within the last 96 hours.
  • For best evidence collection, do not shower, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, smoke, or eat/drink before going to the hospital.  If you have already done any of these things, you should still have an exam done. 
  • If you changed your clothes, take everything with you that you were wearing when the incident occurred.  Place them in a paper sac (if possible) and take them to the hospital or to law enforcement.
  • Allow medical staff to call in an advocate that specializes in assisting survivors through the exam.
  • Report the incident to law enforcement.  Officers can come to the hospital or you can wait until the exam is completed.
  • Do not have any contact with the person who assaulted you.

WHAT AN ADVOCATE CAN DO FOR YOU
  • Assist you during the SANE/SAFE exam.
  • Assist you file for compensation through the Ohio Crime Victim’s Compensation Program.
  • Accompany you to the police department to make your report.
  • Attend court hearings with you.
  • Assist you filing for a protection order after the case is completed.



DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic Violence (DV) occurs when your spouse, intimate partner, or family or household member threatens to harm you, attempts to cause 
or causes you bodily harm.  For example: threats to kill or harm, hitting, slapping, kicking, biting, choking, etc.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DV
  • CALL  911 in an emergency.
  • If you need a safe place to stay, call My Sister’s Place 740-593-3402, officers can assist you at the scene if needed.
  • If you leave your home, take all important documents – birth certificates, SSN cards, divorce papers, passports, visas, etc.
  • Tell officers about prior abuse as well as the current incident.
  • Write out a statement if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Request a Temporary Criminal Protection Order.
  • Contact an advocate to assist you.
  • Document injuries; bruises may not show up for a few days.
  • Report any further contact or harassment from your abuser.
  • Stay in contact with prosecutor and/or law enforcement officer handling the case. 

WHAT AN ADVOCATE CAN DO FOR YOU
  • Assist you with the temporary criminal protection order.
  • Documenting injuries as they progress.
  • Keep you informed about court proceedings and help you understand your rights as a crime victim.
  • File for compensation through the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program.
  • Be a liaison for you with the prosecutor, law enforcement officer, and other agencies.
  • Attend court hearings with you or go on your behalf.
  • Assist you with a Civil Protection Order once the case is completed in the criminal court.
  • Make other referrals as needed.



MENACING BY STALKING
Stalking occurs when someone repeatedly invades your personal space and privacy after being told to stop.  These repeated acts cause you mental distress and/or fear for your safety.  For example: being followed, threatened, unwanted calls/texts, messages through social media.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF STALKING
  • Call law enforcement and report all incidents when they occur.
  • Keep a log of all incidents – date, time, location, witnesses, etc.
  • Keep all evidence – voicemails, texts, messages, social media postings, emails, gifts, etc.
  • Tell friends, family, coworkers what is going on.
  • File charges and/or a protection order.
  • Cease all contact with the person; do not reply to any emails, messages, etc.

WHAT AN ADVOCATE DO FOR YOU
  • Assist you gather evidence.
  • Be a liaison for you with law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office.
  • Attend court hearings with you or on your behalf.
  • File for a protection order.
  • Inform you of your rights as a victim of crime and assist you file for crime victim compensation if needed.


PROTECTION ORDERS
There are 3 types of protection orders and all 3 of these orders are a criminal offense to violate.

Criminal Temporary Protection Order (CrPO/TPO)
Victims of certain crimes may be eligible for this type protection order.  Some of the crimes are:  Domestic Violence, Stalking, Assault, Aggravated Menacing, and Sexual Assaults.  This order only is in effect while the criminal case is pending in Municipal Court or Common Pleas Court.

Civil Protection Order (CPO)
Victims of Domestic Violence may be eligible for this type 
of order.  No criminal charges are necessary.  This protection order can be in effect for up to 5 years.  It is filed in the Common Pleas/Domestic Relations Court.

Stalking/Sexually Oriented Offender Protection Order (SSOOPO)
Victims of Stalking or Sexual Assaults may be eligible for 
type of order.  No criminal charges are necessary.  This order can be in effect for up to 5 years.  It is filed in the Common Pleas Court.

NOTE: 
  • A “No Contact Order” as a condition of bond CANNOT be enforced by law enforcement.
  • A “Restraining Order” through a divorce CANNOT be enforced by law enforcement.
  • There are no fees/costs for filing a protection order.
  • You may want to hire an attorney if you file for a protection order, but you can represent yourself if you want.  No attorneys are provided by the court for the Petitioner (you) or the Respondent (person filing against).