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Know Your Rights

You have the Right to be Treated with FAIRNESS AND REPECT for your SAFETY, DIGNITY, AND PRIVACY.

Learn more about your rights and to complete a Victim Rights Request Form.

As a victim of a crime, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. 

Need legal assistance to help protect and enforce your rights? Access the Victims Rights Toolkit.

Sign up for updates on custody status and criminal case information.

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You can change your mind at any time about which rights you choose to exercise.

Victim Services

Domestic violence is when a family or household member uses physical violence, threats, intimidation, and/or emotional, sexual, and economic abuse to maintain power and control over the other person, usually within an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is most often a combination of psychological and physical actions; the physical results are just the most visible. Domestic violence is a pattern of conduct in which one intimate partner uses force or threats of force to control the other person.


State law has determined that some forms of abuse do not constitute criminal behavior or behavior requiring the Court’s intervention. For example, psychological battering, economic abuse, or verbal harassment without evidence of threats or physical harm are not recognized by Ohio law as domestic violence that allows a petitioner to obtain a protection order or request that criminal charges be filed.


When a family or household member tries to cause you bodily harm by hitting, pushing, beating, or physically hurting you, that is domestic violence. When a family or household member makes you afraid that you will be harmed, that is domestic violence. When a family or household member stalks, commits sexually oriented offenses against you, or forces sexual relations on you, that is domestic violence. When a family or household member abuses your children, that is domestic violence.

DV Definition from Supreme Court of Ohio -- Form 10.01A

For more information on protection orders, please follow the link below.


What is the Athens County Sheriff's Office Crime Victim Program?

This is a service provided through the Athens County Sheriff’s Office that affords a primary and indispensable “first response” role for victims of any crime.

A Crime Victim Advocate serves as a support system and offers reassurance as an effective means to a more positive outcome for a victim.  

  • Respond with law enforcement officers to a crime scene assisting with crisis intervention

  • Photograph physical injuries

  • Helps to clarify and/or educate on the court process and provide any updates on court proceedings

  • Assists in obtaining a Criminal or Civil Protection Order

  • Inform and assist with the application process for the Ohio Crime Victims Compensation Program

  • Make referrals to other service providers that offer additional assistance for immediate remedies

Protection Orders

If a person feels threatened of physical harm or is afraid due to the physical or verbal behavior of another, they may wish to petition the court for a protection order. A protection order is granted by a judge and orders the defendant to stay away from you.  The defendant should not enter your home.  The defendant should not approach you at your place of employment or at your school. If the defendant violates the protection order, a new criminal charge could be filed and the defendant could be arrested.


Criminal -- Depending on the criminal charge filed and your relationship to the defendant determines which protection order will be petitioned to the court. These are valid only for the duration of the court case.

  • Criminal Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO)

  • Criminal Protection Order (CrPO)

Civil -- Criminal charges are not necessary and depending on the relationship or non-relationship along with the act of conduct in question committed against you determines which order should be petitioned for in court.  These orders can be valid for up to five years.

  • Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order (DVCPO)
    *You must be a family or household member of the respondent.

  • Dating Violence Civil Protection Order (DTCPO)

      *Dating relationship with respondent within the last 12 months preceding the conduct in question.

  • Stalking/Sexually Oriented Offense Civil Protection Order (CSPO/CSOOPO)
    *A person that has engaged in a pattern of conduct to cause belief of physical harm, mental distress, or a   se
    xually oriented offense against you, your family, or a household member. 

*If you have not been notified of the arrest of the offender within a reasonable period of time, you may contact the Athens County Sheriff ’s Office to learn of the status of your case.

**A copy of the incident report may be obtained once the investigation is closed. ***This program and all victim services publications are provided through a grant supported by the Victims of Crime Act, (VOCA) awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.  Victims of federal crimes will be served.

When an offender is arrested or charged and given a Summons to court, you have the right to be made aware when the arraignment hearing will be held.  You have the right to attend all hearings,  

Advocate Assistance for Victims

Learn more about ways the following agencies can help you and/or your family.

Athens Police Department


Criminal/Civil Assistance


Ohio University Sur

Advocacy Help for OU Students

Athens County Prosecutor's Office (ACPO)

Felony Criminal Cases

Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program (SAOP)


My Sister's Place (MSP)

Advocate Assistance, Shelter, Counseling

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When further seeking victims assistance, please contact Crystal Allen, Crime Victim Advocate at (740) 566-4388 or email

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