Tips for Safety (Youth)
We care about your child’s safety. Although people cannot prevent abuse and crime from happening to them, youth who have a sense of “what to do” report feeling more capable and less anxious. It is why we value creating an individualized safety plan with your child. A strong safety plan addresses how kids can manage their physical and emotional safety. Safety plans also cover information about technology safety and body safety. It is even more valuable when you, as the parent, can be an ally. You can help in creating, practicing, and implementing the safety plan with your child.
You may need to speak to an advocate outside of our business hours. We have a crisis line available 24 hours a day (317-776-3472). Advocates are available to help you safety plan for the night. They can provide a referral for shelter. They can meet you at a hospital if you are seeking medical care from a nurse or doctor for an injury sustained due to a violent incident or sexual assault.
Sometimes the stress of our experiences with trauma makes us feel like we do not want to be alive anymore. There are specially trained crisis lines for this type of support. You deserve the opportunity to speak with one of these professionals. You can reach them at National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). If you feel like you need to be assessed immediately, please seek behavioral health crisis services at St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis Stress Center (317-338-4400) or Community Hospital North Behavioral Health Pavilion (317-621-5700).
Other times, it just feels like we are struggling with our emotional wellbeing. Our community has people you can talk to. You can reach them at Aspire Indiana (317-574-1252). As a teen, if you feel more comfortable texting, you can try Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741). If you are an LGBTQ+ youth and need support, you can reach out to the Trevor Project (Text START to 678678 or call 1-886-488-7368).
Sometimes we are not sure if we are in an emergency situation or just need support. If you are in danger, call 911. Danger can include serious threats, injury, and escalation to the point that you need a neutral party present. This type of need is much different than the support that our advocates can provide you on the crisis line.
A protective order can be one tool to achieve a stronger sense of safety. A protective order can be filed by an adult over the age of 18. If you are a minor, your legal parent or guardian must file on your behalf. To qualify, you must be the victim of family violence, stalking, a sex offense, or harassment. When you file on your own, this is called pro se. A protective order is a request to a judge asking for there to be restrictions put in place regarding direct and indirect contact with the person you are filing against. You would file because you have concerns for your safety if contact were to continue. An active protective order can also restrict a person from specific addresses, like a workplace or residence. The respondent is the person that you would be filing against. Other types of relief can be requested as well.
All filed orders are reviewed by a judge. The judge can grant the order, which is usually valid for 2 years. They can deny it because it does not meet the statute. The judge may also request a hearing that you will need to attend. If it is granted, the respondent still has the right to request a hearing within 30 days. At the hearing, you have the option of hiring an attorney. You are not required to do this. If there is a hearing for an order filed on behalf of a child, it is likely that the judge will want to speak with your child.
You can meet with an advocate in order to help you understand how to file the order. Protective Order Walk-In hours are generally Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM and Friday from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. Please contact the Prevail office (317) 773-6942 or check our Agency Calendar to verify if there are any office closings. There is an online portal that is available to anyone who is interested in filing a protective order on their own, from the comfort of their own home. It is recommended that you receive the support of an advocate when filing. The portal is located at: public.courts.in.gov/porefsp#/.