What is the Court Advocacy Program?
The purpose of the Court Advocacy Program is to support and empower the victim, validate the victim's concerns, represent the victim's wishes and promote the victim's access to services. Our advocate will assist the victim in the development of a safety plan and then support the decisions made through this plan.
How does the Court Advocacy Program work?
If someone is charged by the police with committing a domestic violence crime against you, your court advocate will contact you to:
However, our court advocates are not attorneys and they cannot provide legal advice or representation.
Why was there an arrest?
Rhode Island considers domestic violence a serious crime and has enacted mandatory arrest laws. This means that once the police find enough evidence to believe that a crime has been committed, they are required to arrest the primary aggressor.
Will I have to go to Court?
It is important for you to come to court because your input in the case is valuable, but, unless you are subpoenaed or specifically told to appear, you are not required to go to court.
Do I need an Attorney?
You are not being charged with a crime and do not need an attorney. Your court advocate can explain the court process to you and will assist you with any paperwork that you may need to fill out.
Can I drop the charges?
The state of Rhode Island is pressing the charges and it is up to the prosecutor or solicitor to go forward with the case.
What is a No Contact Order?
The No Contact Order is a condition of the defendant's bail or sentence and makes it illegal for the defendant to contact you in anyway.
How do I remove the No Contact Order?
To remove a No Contact Order you will have to go before a judge and ask for it to be vacated. Each judge requires different evidence before making a decision so it is important that you talk with your court advocate before coming to court.
What can I do if the defendant violates the No Contact Order?
You can call the police and report the violation or file a report where the violation has occurred.
What is the difference between a No Contact Order and a Restraining Order?
Often these two court terms are used interchangeably, however, No Contact Orders and Restraining Orders are different:
No Contact Orders:
Tips on Going to Court
You may contact your court advocate before going so that the advocate can let you know what to expect and what you will need. However, here are some general tips to know ahead of time:
If you have questions about the court process, please call our court advocate at 723-3057.
Restraining Order Office (Garrahy Courthouse)
RI Legal Services
Oficina de Inmigrantes y Refugiados
Our Community Awareness and Prevention Programs are designed to provide awareness, and prevention education on diverse topics related to domestic violence in both English and Spanish.
Presentations are offered to a variety of different audiences in order to provide a basic understanding of the dynamics surrounding domestic violence and services that are available to victims.
Information, resources and staff support are provided to health fairs and community events.
Workshops and in service presentations are provided to professionals in and outside of the workplace. Trainings are designed to meet the educational needs of diverse audiences.
Our School Program, offered to students in the Blackstone Valley area, assists in breaking the cycle of abuse while providing teens with services that will enable them to develop healthy relationships.
Has your partner ever:
If you are experiencing these things with your partner, you may be in an abusive relationship.
Our domestic violence support groups are offered weekly to the community and are held in a confidential location. Both English and Spanish support groups are available which are free and confidential.
Our 24 hour helpline is provided for individuals in crisis. Our telephone calls range from seeking to escape a domestic violence situation to support and advocacy.
Our agency, in collaboration with Day One and the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence, answers the Victims of Crime Helpline. The Helpline provides telephone support as well as accompaniment to hospitals and police departments.
You can also find more information about the HelplineRI on their website at https://www.helplineri.com/.
Free – Confidential – 24/7 support and advocacy for those impacted by crimes of violence.
We do not use Caller ID. All outgoing calls are blocked for confidentiality.