Survivors of crime often say that the legal systems cause revictimization and often are harder to recover from than the crime itself. 



Civil Protection Orders

As part of our Civil Legal Services, NVRDC staff attorneys offer free legal representation for adult survivors of  sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and stalking who are seeking a Civil Protection Order (“CPO”) in DC Superior Court. We can assist survivors in the following ways:

  • Brief Advice: A member of our legal staff will give an overview of the civil protection order process. This includes: steps for filing a petition, information about temporary protection orders, instructions on effectuating service of process, and an explanation of the hearing process. A victim can also ask about the pros and cons with proceeding with a civil protection order, and ask about any additional concerns.

  • Pro Se Preparation: A member of our legal staff will give you advice on representing yourself in a CPO hearing. This may include a discussion of your evidence (such as your witnesses and testimony)

  • Full-Representation: Legal representation by a member of our legal team. Representation may  include assisting the client through the civil protection order process, including: filing for a petition, requesting a continuance, preparing the case, communicating with the attorney negotiator, preparing consent orders, and presenting the case during the hearing. Representation may also include assisting a client with extending or modifying their current Civil Protection Order. It may also include assisting a client with enforcing the CPO through civil or criminal contempt.


Am I Eligible to Receive Criminal Legal Services?

1. Are you the victim of a crime?

2. Are you over 18 years of age?

3. Is one of the following things true:
        a. Are you a DC resident or do you attend school in DC?
        b. Did the crime occur in DC?

If so, you may be eligible for criminal legal assistance!


For additional information about our civil legal services,
please call (202) 742-1727.