Domestic Violence

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The domestic violence advocacy program is funded by the Office of Criminal Justice Services with VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) funds. It is this funding source that dictates the sex of the victims this advocate serves. The funding enables us to provide two primary services: advocacy to victims and community awareness.

The Domestic Violence Advocate provides legal advocacy services (notification of and accompaniment to court hearings, education regarding the court system and domestic violence, assistance with obtaining of protective orders, and, liaison with prosecutors, probation officers, and court personnel as well as safety planning). Safety Planning is an important component to empowering victims. Victims are educated as to the purpose of safety plans.

The community awareness is conducted by providing information about domestic violence to the general public to inform them of the severity of the problem. The PR Campaign includes distributing brochures to agencies and at public events; posting billboards in highly visible areas; and, airing PSA's during October and November on local cable channels. Partnerships will continue with the Erie County Care-A-Van (a mobile resource unit) and with Safe Harbour Domestic Violence Shelter (419-626-2200) to promote community awareness.

The Office of Criminal Justice has mandated a coordination of agencies in order to receive funds. With this funding, the Program Director chairs the Domestic Violence Task Force. DV Task Force participants have been committed to combating the issues relating to domestic violence. Many issues have been addressed, such as batterer's programs vs. anger management, dual charging, difficulty in determining the primary aggressor, and the need for on-going training. 36 participants, representing numerous agencies have participated in the Task Force.

Safety Alert

Computer use can be monitored and it is impossible to completely clear all website footprints. If you are in danger, please use a safer computer that your abuser can not access directly or remotely, or call ODVN 800-934-9840 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE. If you are at a safer computer, click here for more information on internet & computer safety. Safety Alert taken from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network The comprehensive resource on domestic violence 800-934-9840

Obtaining a Civil Protection Order

What is a Civil Protection Order (CPO)?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you have options in obtaining protection for you and your family members. You may file a petition for a civil protection order (CPO) for yourself or household/family members. The Petitioner must allege that the respondent committed physical violence or threatened physical violence against a family/household member, including a description of the nature and extent of the domestic violence.

The filing of criminal charges or a criminal conviction is not necessary to obtain a CPO. However, having a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) does not prevent one from obtaining a CPO.

***A CPO can be valid for a period of up to five years from the date of filing.***

***A violation of a CPO is considered to be a criminal offense.***

The Civil Protection Order can include the following conditions:

Direct the respondent (abuser) to refrain from abusing family/household members, to include no harassing, threatening, or telephoning the petitioner either directly, or indirectly through a third party;

  • Direct the respondent to leave the household;
  • Award child support, spousal support, custody and/or visitation;
  • Require either or both of the parties to seek counseling;
  • Direct the respondent not to enter the residence, workplace, and/or school of the family/household members;
  • Order exclusive use of a motor vehicle;
  • Award the division of property.


If you are interested in obtaining a CPO, you can contact an advocate for assistance or you can go to the Domestic Relations Court, 323 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, and inform the receptionist that you wish to file a petition for a CPO. You do not have to have an attorney to request a CPO.

The Court will hold a hearing on the same day the petition is filed to determine if an ex-parte order should be granted. An ex-parte order is a protection order that goes into effect before a full hearing. If the ex-parte order is granted, it will remain in effect until the full hearing.

A full hearing will be scheduled within seven to ten days of filing a Petition for a CPO. Both parties are present for this hearing. At the hearing, you will explain to the Judge why a CPO is necessary to protect you or a family member from further harm.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-7999-SAFE

Dating Violence Resource Guide Books

Levy, Barrie. (1991). Dating Violence: Young women in danger. Seattle, WA: Seal Press.

Levy, Barrie. (1993). In Love and In Danger: A teens guide to breaking free of abuse relationships. Seattle, WA: Seal Press.

Levy, Barrie. and Giggans, Patrica. O. (1995). What Parents Need to know about Dating Violence. Seattle, WA: Seal Press

Creighton, Allan. And Kivel, Paul. (1992). Helping Teens Stop violence: A practical guide for counselors, educators, and parents. Almada, CA: Hunter house, Inc.

External Websites - a site about relationships and abuse designed by teens for teens. - Liz Claiborne's site dedicated to addressing teen dating violence. - the site of the national Coalition against Domestic Violence

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