Ohio University >> Survivor Advocacy >> Help >> Your Options 

Your Options

Information about local, state, and national resources is available under our resources section. This will include specific organizations and their contact information. Below is a list of general options for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.

 

Sexual Assault Options

Dating/Domestic Violence Options
Stalking Options

Additional Options

Orders of Protection

 

Sexual Assault Options

 

Medical Options

Taking care of your medical concerns is important for your health and safety. The sooner you receive medical treatment, the more options are available. Medical treatment could come in the form of a medical evidentiary examination (evidence collection), testing and/or treatment for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy, or treating other injuries. Follow-up medical care is equally important.

 

Medical Evidentiary Examinations (evidence collection)

A medical evidentiary examination provides documentation of the assault, identification of any injury, and forensic evidence collection that can be used in a legal case or campus hearing. It is important for health, safety, and evidence collection to have the exam within 72 hours of the assault.

 

O’Bleness Memorial Hospital has Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) available 24 hours a day to perform these exams. A SANE is a registered nurse, specially trained in the care of someone who has been sexually assaulted. The SANE may be either male or female.

 

You have the right for an advocate and/or another support person (family member, friend) to be with you during any part of the examination. O’Bleness Memorial Hospital will call an OUSAP advocate to the hospital. It is your choice whether or not you would like them to be present; you can ask the advocate to leave at any time during your exam.

 

Health professionals are required by Ohio law to report a sexual assault to law enforcement. However, adult survivors can remain anonymous if they choose and will not have to speak to law enforcement or partake in any criminal action pursued by law enforcement.

 

*The following information about sexual assault exams was taken from the Ohio Protocol for Sexual Assault Forensic and Medical Examination (Revised 2011).

 

What will the Sexual Assault Exam Include?

  • Asking you to undress. Your clothes will be kept as part evidence collection. (O’Bleness has clothes that they can provide you with to leave the hospital).
  • Checking for injuries. Photographs and X-rays may be taken.
  • Taking specimens from different areas of your body.
  • Given medicine to prevent infection for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • Being screened for emergency contraception pills.
  • Drawing blood.

 

You may choose to change your mind at anytime during the exam.

 
Payment of Medical Evidentiary Exams

  • Neither you nor your insurance will be billed for the exam or for the emergency room visit.
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections will not be billed to the you or your insurance, either.
  • You or your insurance may be charged for pregnancy testing and emergency contraception.
  • There may be charges to you or your insurance for additional medical injuries. If your health insurance does not cover this you may be eligible for a refund through the Victims of Crime Compensation Program.

 

For more information about payment related to medical evidentiary exams, see page 29 of the Ohio Protocol for Sexual Assault Forensic and Medical Examination (Revised 2011).

 

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception, known as the “morning after pill,” is used to prevent pregnancy. It is most effective when used within 24 hours following the sexual assault and no later than 72 hours.

 

You can obtain emergency contraception at any of your local pharmacies, hospitals, and Planned Parenthood. For a list of medical resources surrounding Ohio University that provide emergency contraception, please click here.

 

Follow-up Medical Care

If you are at risk for pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections (STI) as a result of your sexual assault, it is important to receive follow-up medical care. This includes testing for pregnancy and the testing and treatment of STIs. It is recommended that you test for STIs two to three weeks after the sexual assault occurred. If you are concerned about pregnancy, a urine pregnancy test is recommended three weeks after your assault.

 

For a list of places surrounding Ohio University that provide follow-up care, please click here.

 

Legal and Judicial Options

In Ohio, the crime of rape and sexual assault is a felony offense. Any survivor of sexual assault can pursue either criminal prosecution or civil justice. A survivor who is an Ohio University student can also pursue discipline through the Office of Community Standards.

 

Law Enforcement Investigation

You will speak with a law enforcement officer in private, and have the right to have an advocate or another person of your choosing present. An advocate is there for support, not to answer questions for you or ask questions of you. The officer conducts an interview to secure evidence. The interview may be audio and/or visually recorded. You may have one or more follow-up interviews to discuss the details of assault. Getting the name and number of the officer who interviewed you is helpful in case you recall additional information or have questions about the status of your case.

 

Survivors should not avoid making a police report due to their own consumption of alcohol or drugs at the time of an assault. The police consider the totality of the circumstances when investigating criminal offenses, and make personal crimes their first priority.

 

For a detailed description of the steps involved in the criminal justice system during sexual assault cases, please click here.

 

Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program

The Victim’s Assistance Program is designed to assist the survivor throughout the criminal justice process. The Victim’s Assistance Program can provide the following supportive services:

  • Information regarding the criminal justice system and proceedings
  • Information regarding your rights as a crime victim
  • An escort to court and support throughout the process
  • Assistance with your victim impact statement
  • Assistance with applying for crime compensation
  • Assistance with petitioning for civil protection orders
  • Notification concerning your case’s status and upcoming court dates
  • Representation through interaction with court personnel, social service agencies and other victim service personnel

 

Civil Court

Sexual Assault survivors have the right to sue the offender or other involved parties for monetary damages. You can pursue this type of prosecution alone or in conjunction with the criminal, and/or campus judicial charges. As with campus judicial action, the burden of proof is the preponderance of the evidence (which is defined as more than 50%). If you consider this type of prosecution, consult with an attorney for more information.

 

For more information about filing a civil lawsuit against a sexual offender, please click here.

 

Ohio University Office of Community Standards

Sexual assault is a violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. If assaulted, you may choose to explore judicial action. A trained advocate at OUSAP can support you throughout this process. You may also contact the Office of Community Standards to make an appointment to discuss filing a complaint.

 

The judicial process is separate and different from the criminal court system. You may decide to pursue one or both courses of action. Once the Office of Community Standards becomes aware a sexual assault occurred they are obligated to initiate an investigation and/or proceed with judicial charges.

 

Ohio University Office of Institutional Equity

Any type of sexual misconduct that occurs against an Ohio University student, faculty, or staff member is considered a Title IX violation and can therefore be investigated by the Title IX Coordinator. You may choose to contact the Office of Institutional Equity directly and/or speak with an advocate who will support you throughout this process. Once the office becomes aware of sexual misconduct they are obligated to initiate an investigation.

 

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.

 

Court Advocates at My Sister’s Place and at the Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program can assist you with obtaining protection orders.

 

For more information about protection orders, including the different types and how to obtain a protection order, please click here

 

Counseling Options

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that is both physically and mentally harmful. Every experience is different; every survivor has different feelings and needs. Some will have immediate reactions and some will have delayed reactions. Nobody has to go through this emotional experience alone. You may find that your work, schooling, social life, love life, etc., is being affected by this experience. If you would like to receive counseling and support OUSAP can provide you with counseling resources.

 

Housing

It is important to feel safe where you are living. If you are living with, near, or taking class with someone who has assaulted you, Ohio University will help you. If you are living off campus, contact OUSAP and we can assist you with talking to your landlord and trying to accommodate your housing needs.

 

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office will work to make sure you feel safe both in the residence halls and in your classroom. In addition, OUSAP can assist you with contacting and meeting with the Dean of Students Office to accommodate your housing and schooling needs.

 

 

Dating/Domestic Violence Options

 

Safety Planning Options

Your safety is the most important thing. The most dangerous time for someone who is in an abusive relationship is when she/he tries to leave. Safety planning is a necessary and important step when experiencing an abuse. Safety planning includes identifying safe places where you can go, people who you can talk to, ensuring that you have phone access at all time, etc.

 

For more information about creating a safety plan, please click here.

 

My Sister’s Place

My Sister’s Place is the domestic violence shelter in Athens. They have an Outreach Coordinator that is available to meet your needs in Athens, Hocking, and Vinton counties. This outreach coordinator can provide help with safety planning.

 

Shelter

It is important to feel safe where you are living. By choosing to go to a shelter, you can access individual counseling, group counseling, and case management. Shelters can assist you with personal needs such as housing, food, education, employment opportunities, and legal advocacy.

 

My Sister’s Place

My Sister’s Place is the domestic violence shelter in Athens. The location of the shelter is kept confidential for the safety of the residents. It is a four bedroom home.

 

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office will work to make sure you feel safe both in the residence halls and in your classroom. In addition, OUSAP can assist you with contacting and meeting with the Dean of Students Office to accommodate your housing and schooling needs.

 

Legal and Judicial Options

It is a crime to abuse another person. This abuse can come in the form of physical abuse, threats that put another person in fear of immediate and serious harm, and also any act that would result in a child being abused. Any survivor of dating/domestic violence can pursue either criminal prosecution or civil justice. A survivor who is an Ohio University student can also pursue discipline through the Office of Community Standards.

 

Report to Law Enforcement

You have the option to report the crime to either the Ohio University Campus Police Department for on-campus assaults or to the Athens Police Department for off-campus assaults.

 

Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program

The Victim’s Assistance Program is designed to assist the survivor throughout the criminal justice process. The Victim’s Assistance Program can provide the following supportive services:

  • Information regarding the criminal justice system and proceeding
  • Information regarding your rights as a crime victim
  • An escort to court and support throughout the process
  • Assistance with your victim impact statement
  • Assistance with applying for crime compensation
  • Assistance with petitioning for civil protection orders
  • Notification concerning your case’s status and upcoming court dates
  • Representation through interaction with court personnel, social service agencies and other victim service personnel

 

Ohio University Office of Community Standards

Mental or bodily harm to others is a violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. If harmed, you may choose to explore judicial action. The judicial process is separate and different from the criminal court system. You may decide to pursue one or both courses of action. A trained advocate at OUSAP can support you throughout this process. You may also contact the Office of Community Standards to make an appointment to discuss filing a complaint.

 

Protection Order

A protection order is a court order that seeks to increase safety for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. You can receive a protection order mandating that the abuser stay away from you and your children. Protection orders can include evicting the abuser if you live together, granting you temporary custody of the children, and 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.

 

Court Advocates at My Sister’s Place and at the Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program can assist you with obtaining protection orders.

 

For more information about protection orders, including the different types and how to obtain a protection order, please click here

 

Counseling Options

There is nothing normal about abuse. Every experience is different; every survivor has different feelings and needs. Nobody has to go through this emotional experience alone. You may find that your work, schooling, social life, etc., is being affected by this experience. If you would like to receive counseling and support OUSAP can provide you with counseling resources. In addition, domestic violence shelters such as My Sister’s Place can provide you with access to counseling as well.

 

 

 

Stalking Options

 

Legal and Judicial Options

It is a crime to repeatedly threaten or harass another person and make them fear for their life. Survivors of stalking have several legal options including criminal prosecution, judicial action, civil justice, and obtaining an order of protection.

 

Report to Law Enforcement

You have the option to report the crime to either the Ohio University Campus Police Department for on-campus assaults or to the Athens Police Department for off-campus assaults.

 

Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program

The Victim’s Assistance Program is designed to assist the survivor throughout the criminal justice process. The Victim’s Assistance Program can provide the following supportive services:

  • Information regarding the criminal justice system and proceedings
  • Information regarding your rights as a crime victim
  • An escort to court and support throughout the process
  • Assistance with your victim impact statement
  • Assistance with applying for crime compensation
  • Assistance with petitioning for civil protection orders
  • Notification concerning your case’s status and upcoming court dates
  • Representation through interaction with court personnel, social service agencies and other victim service personnel

 

Ohio University Office of Community Standards

Mental or bodily harm to others is a violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct. If harmed, you may choose to explore judicial action. The judicial process is separate and different from the criminal court system. You may decide to pursue one or both courses of action. A trained advocate at OUSAP can support you throughout this process. You may also contact the Office of Community Standards to make an appointment to discuss filing a complaint.

 

Protection Order

A protection order is a court order that seeks to increase safety for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. You can receive a protection order mandating that the abuser stay away from you and your children. Protection orders can include evicting the abuser if you live together, granting you temporary custody of the children, and 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.

 

Court Advocates at My Sister’s Place and at the Athens County Victim’s Assistance Program can assist you with obtaining protection orders.

 

For more information about protection orders, including the different types and how to obtain a protection order, please click here

 

Counseling Options

Stalking situations can be very scary and intense. Every experience is different; every survivor has different feelings and needs. Nobody has to go through this emotional experience alone. You may find that your work, schooling, social life, love life, etc., is being affected by this experience. If you would like to receive counseling and support OUSAP can provide you with counseling resources.

 

 

Additional Options

 

Victim Information and Network Everyday (VINE)

VINE provides Ohioans with information about offenders in custody. If you want to know the custody status of someone in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Department of Youth Services, or County Jails, you may use this service to receive notification via the telephone or email.

 

To view information about how to register with VINE (a free service), please click here.

 

Victims Compensation

Financial assistance may be available for you from the Attorney General’s Office. You may be eligible to receive payment if you were injured as a result of a violent crime, if you are a dependent of a homicide victim, and/or if you are responsible for crime victims’ expenses (such as parents or guardians).

 

For more information about filing for Victims Compensation in Ohio, please click here.

 

 

Protection Orders

 

Criminal vs. Civil 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.

 

 

Types of Protection Orders

 

1. Civil Protection Order (CPO)

A CPO is issued by the Domestic Relations Court to protect survivors of domestic violence.  You do not have to be getting a divorce to ask for a CPO.

 

Who can file:

  • Family or household member
  • Spouses, former spouses
  • Parent, child, foster parent
  • People who have children together
  • People who lived together in the last 5 years
  • Same sex couples are eligible

 

Based on: Harm or reasonable fear of harm

 

What a CPO can order:

  • Evict abuser from household
  • Order abuser to stay away
  • Temporary child custody and visitation
  • Temporary financial support
  • Temporary use of assets such as car
  • Counseling for abuser
  • Weapons restrictions

 

How long it lasts: Up to 5 years, renewable

 

 

2. Stalking and/or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SSOOPO):

An SSOOPO is issued by the General Division of Common Pleas Court to protect victims of stalking and/or sexually oriented crimes.

 

Who can file:

  • Any person who was a victim of stalking or a sexually oriented offense
  • No relationship with offender is required

 

Based on:

  • Pattern of conduct (2 or more events) that makes someone believe abuser will cause harm or causes mental distress OR certain sexually oriented offenses

 

 

What relief can order::

  • Any orders needed for safety of victim

 

 

 How long it lasts: Up to 5 years

 

 

3. Juvenile Protection Order

 

Who can file:

  • Victim whose abuser is under age 18, the victim’s parent, other adult household member, or other parties approved by the court.

 

 

Based on:

  • Behaviors such as assault, stalking, sexually, oriented offense, threats of harm or aggravated trespass

 

 

What relief court can order:

  • Abuser to stay away
  • Electronic monitoring (under very specific conditions)

 

 

How long it lasts:Until abuser reaches age 19

 

 

4. Temporary Order of Protection (TPO)

 

Who can file:If you are not considered a household or family member according to the Ohio Revised Code, you may request a Protection Order if any of the following charges are filed on your behalf:

  • Felonious Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Menacing by Stalking
  • Menacing
  • Aggravated Trespass

 

 

If you are considered a household or family member according to the Ohio Revised Code, then you may request a criminal Protection Order if an offense of violence is filed on your behalf.

 

Offense of violence include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Felonious Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Menacing by Stalking
  • Aggravated Trespass
  • Criminal Damaging/Endangering
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Burglary
  • Endangering Children

 

 

How to Obtain a Protection Order

 

Civil Protection Orders and Stalking and/or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders

  • Get the necessary forms. You can receive assistance for this and all steps from My Sister’s Place or Athens County Victims Assistance. To obtain electronic forms, please click here.
  • 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.

 

*Adapted from WomensLaw.org

 

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)

 

*Adapted from the Columbus City Attorney website 

"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."