March 18, 2020

Seeking Legal Resources and Safety During COVID-19

Many Ohio Courts and related government services have temporarily altered their practices in response to COVID-19. Ohio courts will continue to provide all essential services. However, to protect the public health, individual courts have limited certain operations in the coming weeks and implemented changes to familiar practices. OAESV is committed to ensuring that in this period of uncertainty, survivors of sexual violence can continue to seek resources and safety.

Seeking Protection Orders

Survivors can continue to seek civil protection orders in all Ohio counties. Survivors in need of immediate protection should file the appropriate petition in the local Clerk of Courts office. Instructions and forms for Stalking, Sexually Oriented Offense, Domestic Violence, and Juvenile civil protection orders are available at: https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/domesticViolence/default.asp. Because many offices have temporarily altered filing procedures, hours, and locations of services, Survivors should Contact the local Clerk of Court office before seeking a protection order.

Seeking Unemployment Benefits

Survivors who have experienced a loss of employment due to recent closures in the hospitality industry can seek unemployment benefits pursuant to Governor Dewine's recent order. Applications and guidance are available at unemployment.ohio.gov.

Seeking Crime Victim Compensation

Survivors may seek financial assistance through the Ohio Attorney General 's Crime Victim Compensation Program. The Program reimburses crime victims, their families and others who may incur specific expenses resulting from a crime of violence. Information and guidance are available at https://ohiocourtofclaims.gov/ or 1-877-5VICTIM.

Seeking Eviction Assistance

Many Courts have temporarily suspended eviction proceedings during the public health crisis. Survivors facing eviction should contact their local Court of Common Pleas to determine whether eviction proceedings are taking place. In any event, survivors should contact a Rape Crisis Center or Legal Aid upon receipt of an eviction notice.

Seeking Court Status Information

Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts have largely temporarily suspended or limited most matters. Essential proceedings such as those involving emergency orders and protection orders will proceed. However, Survivors should contact the Court directly as many counties will now hold meetings and hearings by phone or video.

Criminal courts, likewise, have limited operations. Survivors can anticipate that scheduled matters will be continued for several weeks or months. Many local municipal and common pleas courts have issued Administrative Orders regarding current practices available on their official websites.


Survivors do not need to navigate their legal options alone!
For assistance, survivors should contact a local Rape Crisis Center for guidance and links to
resources. Rape Crisis Center Advocates can connect survivors with legal services in the listed and
in related matters.

Ohio Sexual Violence Hotline. 844.OHIO.HELP 844.644.6435. 24/7 Confidential Support
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. oeasv.org. (888) 886-8388 Toll-Free. (216) 658-1381

Escape