What is it?
A Sexual Violence Protection (SVP) is a court order that protects sexual assault victims from someone who they are not in a relationship with who sexually assaulted them. The offender cannot be a:
- Spouse or ex-spouse
- Parent or child
- Biological relative
- Relative by marriage
- Current or former intimate or sexual partner
- Person who shares a biological parent
SVPs can protect victims by restricting the offender from entering the victim residence, place of employment and/or school as well as prohibiting indirect contact through third parties. An SVP is NOT the same as seeking criminal prosecution; you are not required to press charges. An SVP is meant to restrict the offender’s contact with the victim, and the offender cannot be punished unless he/she violates the SVP.
There are three types of SVPs:
Who can file?
SVPs are intended to protect adult and minor sexual assault victims who do not have a relationship with the offender. The offender cannot be a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, parent or child, brother or sister or another person related by blood or marriage.
If a minor is seeking an SVP, an adult must file on the minor’s behalf. If the minor victim is over the age of nine, you MUST bring the child with you when filing.
Where do you file?
You can file for an SVP in the county where the victim temporarily/permanently lives or is employed, the county where the offender may be served, or the county where the sexual assault occurred.
To file a temporary SVP in Butler County, you need to go to the Domestic Relations Office (level L) in the Butler County Courthouse between 8:30 am and 10:30 am Monday through Friday. A VOICe advocate will be available to provide support and information during the filing process. The process can be lengthy, so plan to be there into early afternoon. If the minor victim is over the age of nine, you MUST bring the child with you to the courthouse.
What does it cost to file?
There are no costs for the filing party. Additionally, you are not required to have legal representation to file a temporary SVP, but VOICe Attorneys can represent you for free during the final SVP hearing. Please call 1-800-400-8551 for more information about representation.
What information will the person I’m filing against be served?
The person you’re filing against will be served with the same paperwork you receive. If you have fled to a different county for your safety, it is important to remember that the person you are filing against will know where you filed the SVP. Please call 1-800-400-8551 if you need to discuss options or safety plan.
Is this the right protection order for me?