Ohio University >> Survivor Advocacy >> Frequently Asked Questions 

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to contact the police?

No.  OUSAP will not force anyone to contact law enforcement. We will provide you with information and assist you if you choose to contact the law enforcement. We can accompany you to meet the law enforcement if you choose to file a report.

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?

OUSAP does not force clients to go to the hospital. OUSAP does encourage clients to go to the hospital following a sexual assault or any type of physical abuse in order to determine there are no injuries that have gone undetected.

OUSAP can accompany you to the hospital. The advocate is there to help provide you with information and support.


If I go to the hospital for the collection of forensic evidence following an assault, will they contact my parents?

The billing for 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 OUSAP give out my information?

All your information is confidential. OUSAP will not contact parents or law enforcement without your consent. OUSAP 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


There are certain situations OUSAP is required by law to report. These situations include:

  • 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 (This includes if the client is under the age of 18)
  • Elder abuse is occurring


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

OUSAP does not charge a fee. All services are FREE. 


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 up to five years.


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.


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 (CrPOs) 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: Domestic Violence Protection Order and Stalking and/or Sexually Oriented Offender Protection Order. 

"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."