Ohio University >> Survivor Advocacy >> Frequently Asked Questions 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions


Do I have to contact the police?

No.  The Survivor Advocacy Program will not force anyone to contact law enforcement .  We will provide you with information and assist you if you choose to contact the Police.  We can also go with you to meet the Police to complete a statement.

We encourage clients to explore the options, potential outcomes and options, time lines if applicable, safety planning. 


Do I have to go to the hospital?

The Survivor Advocacy Program does not force clients to go to the hospital.   OU SAP encourages clients go to the hospital after a sexual assault or any type of physical abuse.  This is to determine there are no injuries that have gone undetected. 

The Survivor Advocacy Program can drive a person to the hospital or meet the person at the hospital.  The advocate is there to help provide information and support the client.


If I go to the hospital will they contact my parents?

The billing for a medical exam and collection of forensic evidence is paid for through the Victims of Crime compensation program.  You should not be billed.  Your information should not be sent to your parents.


Will you give out my information?

All your information is confidential. We do not contact parents or law enforcement.   OU SAP cannot give out your information without a signed release.  The release contains the following:

  • Specific information being released
  • Purpose information is being released
  • Date release expires
  • Whom information will be sent
  • Method information is being sent


OU SAP is a mandated reporter during the following times:

    *Suicidal attempts or suicidal ideation is present

    *Homicidal thoughts of hurting someone else

    * Client is in imminent danger from someone else

    *Child abuse is occurring

    *Elder abuse is occurring


What is the cost of the services?  What if I don’t have insurance?

The OU SAP does not charge a fee.  All services are FREE.  The OU SAP program is funded through a Department of Justice grant.  There is no charge.  No billing fees or processes.  


Protection Orders


What is a Protection Order? 

A protection order is a court order that seeks to increase safety for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. Protection orders can order the offender to stay away from the survivor, prohibit him/her from contacting the survivor, along with much more.

Protection orders can be obtained through criminal courts and through civil courts. Protection orders issued through the criminal court only last throughout the duration of the criminal case. Protection orders issued through civil court can last much longer. There are three different types of civil protection orders.


How do I obtain a Protection Order? 

  • Get the necessary forms. You can receive assistance for this and all steps from My Sister’s Place or Athens County Victims Assistance.
  • Carefully fill out the petition. Do not sign until you are in front of a notary.
  • Bring identification for you and about your abuser. Helpful items about your abuser might be a photo, social security number, address, employer, phone number, description of abuser’s vehicle, and any history of drug abuse, violence and/or gun ownership.
  • Go to the Courthouse and file the forms.
  • Ex parte hearing. The judge hears only from you why you need a protection order and decides whether to grant a temporary order.
  • Service of process. A law enforcement official will serve your abuser a notice of hearing and if you were granted a temporary order. A temporary order lasts 10 days.
  • Full court hearing. To receive a protection order you must prove at least one of the following: threat your abuser caused or attempted to cause bodily injury, placed you in fear of imminent physical harm by threat, committed menacing by stalking or aggravated trespass, or abused a child. You must show up to court the day of the hearing or your temporary order will expire. If awarded, a protection order lasts up to 5 years.


What are the requirements of a temporary order of protection? 

  • A criminal charge must have been filed against the offender.
  • The crime must be specified by the Ohio Revised Code.
  • You must be the victim of the crime.
  • Your relationship with the defendant must comply with the Ohio Revised Code. (You must be considered family/household members) 


What is the difference between civil protection orders and criminal protection orders? 

You may file a complaint in both the criminal court and the civil court. Criminal protection orders, known as a Temporary Order of Protection (TPO), last only for the duration of criminal case. When the case is resolved, the order expires.

There are two types of protection orders obtained through civil courts. A Civil Protection Order (CPO) and Stalking and/or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SSOOPO) can last up to five years and possibly be renewed for an additional five years. 




"This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-WA-AX-0003 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/ exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women."