What is a safety planning guide?

A safety planning guide for victims is a resource that provides practical strategies and advice to help individuals protect themselves and plan for their safety. It includes information on creating a personalized safety plan, accessing support services, and understanding legal options. We have developed a safety guide that you can download here.  

What if the offender contacts or harasses the victim after the report?

The victim should immediately contact law enforcement. There are legal protections in place for victims of crime, and a victim should not have to face harassment or retaliation. The victim should keep any text messages, voicemails, call logs, social media posts or messages, or any other evidence proving that the offender contacted the victim. Any […]

What is a Permanent Restraining Order?

Victims of violent crimes, parents of minor victims, and witnesses of violent crimes can qualify for Permanent Restraining Orders (PROs) when the perpetrator has (1) committed a qualifying crime and (2) the complainant suffered direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of the crime. A PRO is issued by the Circuit […]

What can I do to safety plan while sheltering in place?

These are recommended safety planning steps. These recommendations may not apply in all situations. Contact SCVAN’s Legal Department for information on restraining orders. 911: If there is an emergency where you or a member of your household is in immediate danger, call 911. Use a landline if possible, as it will provide an address to […]

Do I need an attorney to represent me in my Order of Protection hearing?

In general, crime victims do not need legal representation at Order of Protection hearings because the hearings are designed for unrepresented persons. However, both parties have a legal right to an attorney. We strongly recommend that you have an attorney represent you at an Order of Protection hearing.

What can I do to safety plan AFTER I separate from an abusive partner?

Steps for Domestic Violence Safety Plan Before Separation Immediately change all computer and online account passwords. Install security features in your home. If the perpetrator has ever had a key to your home, change the locks on all doors. Tell neighbors that the perpetrator does not live in your home and ask them to call […]

How can I get an Order of Protection?

The Family Court Clerk of Court has simplified petition forms which you can fill out and file at their office. If you have an attorney, he or she can help you file a Petition for an Order of Protection. After the Petition has been filed, the Clerk of Court will schedule a hearing in Family […]

What is a Temporary Restraining Order?

A victim of stalking or harassment can petition for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) through the Magistrate’s Court. This temporary order lasts for up to one year. To file a petition for an TRO, a victim can visit the Magistrate’s Court Clerk where the proper forms will be available.

What can I do to be safer on the internet and social media?

Limit emails, texts, and social media that you would not want the perpetrator to have access to – remember, all written communication can be preserved by the viewer. Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know well and remove followers that you do not know personally. If someone makes a dangerous or […]

Can I make my address confidential?

Unfortunately, South Carolina does not have an address confidentiality program. There was a bill introduced in 2017 to create such a program, but it did not pass. However, there are other ways you can protect your address, such as switching to a P.O. box, deleting your address from “people search” websites by contacting the website’s administrators, […]