Phoenix Project Court Services
Stress involved when a survivor is involved with the court system can make an already traumatic event worse. Many victims avoid having to use the court system and never get the help that they need. For some survivors, the criminal legal system may offer options for protection from abusive partners. Phoenix Project does not give— nor are we legal advocates — but there may be legal resources available in your community that we can help you identify.
Here are a few services that we provide, free of charge:
- COURT ACCOMPANIMENT: Our Court Advocate will help you on the day of court to provide information and support.
- INFORMATION ON PROCEEDINGS: “First Return”, “EPO”, “Preliminary Hearing” – all terminology that can be extremely confusing to an individual that is not familiar with the legal system. The Court Advocate can help you to better understand what is going on.
- ASSISTANCE WITH PROTECTIVE ORDERS: What exactly is a protective order and do I need one? How long will I be protected? Has your abuser violated the order? How do I extend my protective order? The Court Advocate can help you.
- Front Royal Police Department Non-Emergency: (540) 635-2111
- Warren County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency: (540) 635-4128
- Warren County Commonwealth Attorney: (540) 635-5441
- Warren County Victim Witness: (540) 631-0007
- Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court: (540) 635-4107
- Blue Ridge Legal Services: (540) 662-5021
Protective orders and restraining orders:
A protective order is a legal document intended to prohibit your partner from physically coming near you or harming or harassing you, your children, or other loved ones.
You can apply for a protective order at courthouses or an emergency protective order through the local magistrate’s office located at the RSW jail.
Protective orders may be able to put a stop to physical abuse but they depend on your partner’s adherence to the law and law enforcement’s willingness to enforce the protective order. Psychological abuse is still possible, and a protective order should never replace a safety plan.
Other legal resources:
- WomensLaw.org has state-by-state information about laws including protective and restraining orders and child custody laws.
- VINE allows crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day. Victims and other concerned citizens can also register to be notified by phone, email or TTY device.
Protections for non-U.S. citizens:
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center and WomensLaw.org offer information about your rights as an immigrant. Further information about resources available to non-U.S. citizens can be found here.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) states that people without citizenship status who are experiencing domestic violence and are married to abusers who are U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents may qualify to self-petition for legal status. Learn more about USCIS guidelines concerning VAWA.
Victims of certain crimes including domestic abuse and trafficking may be eligible for specific visas based on certain eligibility requirements.
Legal actions to escape abuse can come with their own risks of immigration consequences depending on the findings of the judge who presides over your petition. A specialized immigration attorney should always be contacted for immigration questions and concerns.
Blue Ridge Legal Services:
Blue Ridge Legal Services assists victims of domestic violence. The goal is to help low-income individuals who are trying to escape from an abusive relationship by providing free civil legal assistance for protective orders, and may be able to assist with the family law issues of custody, visitation, support, and divorce. Therefore, if you are a domestic violence victim who is low income and you have a civil legal problem (not criminal or traffic related), please call Blue Ridge Legal Services, 540-662-5021, today to find out if you are eligible to receive free legal assistance.