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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 links 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)
    *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 sexually oriented offense against you, your family, or a household member. No relationship is required.

  • Domestic Violence Juvenile Civil Protection Order (DVJCPO)

      *Criminal act has been committed by a person under 18 years of age and is a family or household member.

  • Juvenile Civil Protection Order (JCPO)

      *Criminal act has been committed by a person under 18 years of age. No relationship is required.  

Criminal Court Cases

Victims of a Crime

A victim is a person against whom the criminal offense or delinquent act is committed or who is directly and proximately harmed by the commission of the offense or act. 

When an offender is arrested or charged and given a Summons to appear in court, you have the right to be present and heard orally, in writing, or both, at the arraignment hearing and all public proceedings in person, online via Zoom, or by each courtroom procedure. After an arraignment hearing is held, a prosecutor is  assigned to the case and will contact you for further discussion regarding the incident that took place.  If you choose not to attend any of the hearings, the case will continue to be presented to the court by the assigned prosecutor and you have the right to be notified of the results of the case.


Know Your Rights

Some Rights are Automatic

Some Must Be Requested to be Exercised

Refer to the top of this page for a list of Victim's Rights and click on any of the agency's names for more information.

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 complete and the case 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.

Athens County Resource Guide

Advocate Assistance for Victims

Safety Plan Checklist

Click on the following icons to learn how each agency can help you and/or your family.


Athens Police Department


 Criminal Cases, Civil Assistance 


Survivor Advocacy Program


Advocacy Services

(Students of Ohio University)


Felony Criminal Cases

Advocacy Services

New Leaf Community Services

2 Years of Housing


Employment & Workforce Development


Childcare/Youth Resilience Centers


24/7 Hotline

Outreach Counseling

Court Advocacy

Emergency Shelter

If you need further assistance, please contact Crystal Allen, Crime Victim Advocate, at (740) 566-4388 or email

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