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An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection
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Who To Contact

Website changes: aardvarcinfo@aol.com

Please remember to include your state and county, and if you are a service provider, let us know if you provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, or other key populations, so that we can make sure to list you in all applicable areas.

Start Local

If you are a victim, or seeking services for a victim, you've GOT to start locally! Every state, county, and city has different resources and types of assistance available, and many of those services can ONLY be accessed via local programs. This is particularly true for assistance that is jurisdictionally limited (like getting help with a restraining order), or, for programs that may offer access to safe house services, support groups, various types of counseling, legal assistance, or finanical support (which is usually made available via local government grants or grant from private foundations for use only in a particular geographic area).

Similarly, if you have donations of clothing, furniture, canned goods, or baby items, you'll need to coordinate the donation of such items directly with the program in your community that will be receiving your donation.

Our program is based in Florida, and focuses on providing two types of help at the national level:

a) providing guidance and information on HOW "the system" works (and WHY). You'll find information on this site addressing everything from domestic violence issues, to sex crimes against adults and children, to the pros and cons of bringing civil law suits against abusers for damages. If you have questions that aren't currently addressed, the best place to get some initial information is via moderated message boards such as ExpertLaw and Laywers.com. Here you'll be able to access those with knowledge of family law, criminal law, and personal injury law who have backgrounds as judges, attorneys, police officers, advocates, court clerks, and others with vast experience in the areas in which victims frequently seek assistance (including AARDVARC's own volunteers who participate in these forums daily). Getting a diversity of input ensures that victims don't get "pigeon-holed" into the guidance and advice from a single individual with a singular point of view (for example, a police officer and an advocate may give very different answers on the same topic, and we believe that those seeking assistance need understand ALL of their possible options and the various pros and cons of those options before making determinations for themselves. If choosing to make a posting on the boards about your particular concerns, please be sure to protect your safety and privacy by using an alias and NOT posting names, addresses, phone numbers, or specific identifying information.

b) getting victims hooked up with the correct resources (law enforcement, advocates, legal aid, etc.).

We are volunteers who work regular jobs in law enforcmeent, advocacy, child protection, and other fields, but we do not maintain an office or staffing to provide direct services - that is the specialty of the programs we strive to get victims to participate with and to whom you'll see us refer to over and over again throughout our site.

Find your local contacts: Domestic Violence & Child Abuse I Sexual Assault

For criminal charges

Criminal charges must be brought within the jurisdiction where the violation of law occurred. For the vast majority of crimes, this means that the REPORT of criminal activity needs to occur with the city police department (if it occurred within city limits), or the county sheriff's office (if it occurred in an unincorporated area or a small town where the sheriff's office provides law enforcement services). In other words, if a crime occurred in State A, it must be reported to law enforcement in State A. On occasion, and under special circumstances, an agency in one state may take a report for an agency in another state as a courtesy, but generally speaking the agency is not performing any part of the investigation, only taking the witnesses statement AND getting the witness to swear to and sign that statement. The case, including any court hearings or trials must still occur in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. So if you are in Ohio, and you report a crime that happened in Maine, you can expect the trial to take place in Maine, and Maine is where you would travel if called as a witness in the case.

Highter level agencies, such as the FBI, will be called into cases where there appears to be a violation of federal criminal law, such as kidnapping or crimes where victims are transported over state lines. Starting with the FBI will result in you being referred back to your local agency (or the agency where the crime occurred)so that they can take the initial report. Once a report is taken or an arrest is made, the case ends up in the hands of the local district attorney, who decides whether or not the state will bring charges.

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Last Updated: March 3, 2011