If you fear for your safety because you are being threatened with harm, followed, or harassed by another person (relative or stranger), you can apply for a Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order. R.C. is designed to protect you if someone is harming, attempting to harm, threatening, following, stalking, harassing, contacting, or forcing sexual relations upon you. A Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order is broader in application and applies to persons who may not be covered under a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order or a Criminal Protection Order because it applies whether the offender is a family or household member. A court can order the Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order for up to five years and the Order is enforceable by the police just like any other protection order.
The statute defines stalking as including a pattern of conduct that the stalker knows will cause the victim mental distress or cause the victim to believe that the stalker will cause physical harm to her. This must rise to the level of a “pattern of conduct” and not just a single incident. Other examples may include, threatening you, making harassing phone calls, sending threatening or harassing letters, damaging your property, or other conduct which frightens you or causes you mental distress. If you fear for your safety and well-being due to an individual’s threats or harassment, contact Joseph Stafford, 216.241.1074, for a consultation to see if the actions meet the statutory definitions to obtain a Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order.