Unfortunately, many LGBTQ Ohioans face the risk of experiencing violence or other harassment by a loved one, family member, or other people in the community. The growing number of murders of trans women of color, some within our own state, are a heart wrenching recent example of violence directed at the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ victims may be afraid of retribution or ridicule if they contact law enforcement officials. Even if police are notified, the lack of financial or personnel resources can cause investigation delays or the inability to adequately investigate complaints. Luckily, victims are able to use the court system to obtain a protection order.
A protection order is granted by a judge which commands a person to stay away from you. There are serious consequences, including jail time, for violating a protection order. There are multiple different types of protection orders recognized under Ohio law including the following: (1) Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order; (2) Dating Violence Civil Protection Order; (3) Juvenile Civil Protection Order; (4) Civil Stalking Protection Order; (5) Civil Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order; (6) Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order; and (7) Criminal Protection Order.
There are a myriad of factors that affect which particular protection order can and should be obtained, such as the relationship between the parties, whether or not the parties ever resided together, whether an underlying criminal charge has been filed, and the particular court where proceedings are pending, just to name a few.
If you are in fear for you or your loved ones safety, you can reach out to the Equality Ohio Legal Clinic for assistance. In addition to not charging any attorney fees, courts cannot charge court costs to obtain a protection order.