Victim's Assistance - Family Violence

We realize a victim has to deal with not only the physical and psychological impact of victimization, but also the somewhat confusing Criminal Justice System. This is a role for which you may be unprepared. This is especially difficult when the offender may be a member of your own family.

Accessibility to the System

The Highland Park Department of Public Safety is committed to the victims of domestic violence and the community we serve. By making the system more accessible to you, easier for you to understand, and more responsive to your needs, we recognize and enforce your rights as a victim of crime. If you would like additional information or information specific to your situation, please contact Detective Cody Simpson, our Victim Assistance Liaison, by Email or at 215-559-9362.

Adult Victims of Family Violence

It is a crime for any person to cause you any physical injury or harm even if that person is a member or former member of your family or household. Please tell the investigating officer if you, your child, or any other household resident has been injured or if you feel you are going to be in danger when the officer leaves.

Filing Complaints

You have the right to ask the local prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the person committing family violence and apply to a court for an order to protect you (consult a legal aid office, a prosecuting attorney, or a private attorney).

Court Orders

You cannot be charged a fee by a court in connection with filing, serving, or entering a protective order. For example, the court can enter an order that:

  • The abuser not commit further acts of violence
  • The abuser not threaten, harass, or contact you
  • Directs the abuser to leave your household
  • Establishes temporary custody of the children and directs the abuser not to interfere with the children or any property

A violation of certain provisions of court-related protections such as the first two examples above may be a felony.

Court Requests

If a family or household member assaults you and is arrested, you may:

  • Request that a magistrate issue an emergency protective order
  • Inform the investigating officer if you want an order for emergency protection
  • Request to be absent when the order is issued

Contact the shelters or community referral organizations (PDF) if you need protection and/or assistance

Victims of Family Violence

When you are a victim of family violence, please call 911 when you can safely do so, and the following will happen:

  • An officer will be dispatched
  • A report will be made and with probable cause, the abuser will be arrested