Civil Legal Rights for Victims of Crime

Whenever any peace officer has reason to believe that a family or household member has been abused, or that an elderly person or a person with disabilities has been abused, that officer shall use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including advising each person of the availability of a shelter or other services in the community and giving each person immediate notice of the legal rights and remedies available.

A family abuse victim has the right to receive an instruction brochure, a petition, order and related forms from the clerk of the circuit court explaining the rights set forth in Oregon Family Abuse Prevention Act provisions. These rights include certain mandatory relief for up to one year and allowing a petitioner to provide a mailing or contact address instead of a residential address.

When any court enters a decree, order or modification of a decree or order under certain family and assistance payment law, the court shall allow any party to the decree or order to include in the decree or order a waiver of personal service in a subsequent contempt proceeding in order to maintain the confidentiality of a residential address.

A victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if the individual has no reasonable available alternatives to leaving work to protect the individual or minor child from further domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking at a workplace or elsewhere.

A victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, may terminate a rental agreement with a 14 day notice within 90 days of the crime, and has the right to have locks changed by the owner of rental property.

A victim of domestic violence may have a right, in some Oregon Housing Authorities, to a housing preference.

A person at risk for family, elder or disabled people abuse, has the right to go on a payment plan rather than have basic phone service disconnected for unpaid bills.

Any protection order issued by the court of one state or Indian tribe, after reasonable notice was given to the person against whom the order was made sufficient to protect due process rights, shall be accorded full faith and credit by the court of another state or tribe and enforced as if it were the order of the enforcing state or tribe.

The Department of Homeland Security may not release information about certain victims of domestic violence and their children without the victim’s consent.

Oregon residents who are victims of domestic violence or are at risk of becoming victims may be eligible for Temporary Assistance to Domestic Violence Survivors (TA/DV) emergency monetary grants through the Oregon Department of Human Services. Applicants must have children or be pregnant to qualify. Emergency monetary relief order under the Family Abuse Prevention Act does not affect eligibility for a TA/DVS grant.

Qualified victims of crime who are immigrants or certain family members of immigrants who are crime victims, may petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for: lawful permanent residency, readjustment of status, cancellation of a deportation order, a U visa, or a T visa.

The Department of Homeland Security may not make unfavorable immigration decisions based solely upon information provided by a spouse, parent, or other family member who resides in the same household as the immigrant, who is abusive toward the immigrant or the immigrant’s child.

Victims of crime who are immigrants may access emergency medical care and police assistance, may have the perpetrators of the crimes against them prosecuted, and may obtain community based services necessary to protect life and safety.