March 31, 2020

Legal Services Available During COVID-19

Continued YWCA Services Available for Survivors During COVID-19

During this pandemic, our services are still available, and our staff are passionate about supporting our community. We know that the stress of all of the unknowns in the current situation we are all facing, the financial hardships that have come up for many folks, and newly implemented quarantine recommendations and mandates may facilitate an increase in domestic violence. We want the community to know that YWCA Spokane is still here for you. We have many services available for survivors of intimate partner domestic violence, including legal services. Legal assistance can be an incredibly powerful tool in a survivor’s journey. Read more below about our legal services and how to get in contact with our staff members for support.



What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence means different things to different people. At YWCA Spokane, we view domestic violence as any situation where one partner in an intimate relationship tries to maintain power and control over the other person. We view the survivor as the person who the controlling behavior is aimed at. Our services are for the survivors and their children. Although YWCA Spokane views domestic violence through the larger, more comprehensive lens offered by the Power and Control Wheel, in relation to legal matters, it is important to be aware of the legal definition of domestic violence, which is limited to the following:

  • Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
  • Creating a fear that physical harm, bodily injury, pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, or assault will happen soon
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking

While at YWCA Spokane, we are aware that domestic violence often includes verbal and/or mental abuse, among other types of abuse that are indirect or not as obvious as physical and/or sexual violence, in order to qualify for a Protection Order in a domestic violence case, the survivor must have experienced domestic violence as stated under the legal definition.


Legal Advocacy

YWCA Spokane Legal Advocates support survivors of intimate partner domestic violence. Many individuals come to our Legal Advocates to gain clarity in their questions about protection orders, and to receive support through the court process. When one’s partner has been charged with a domestic violence offense, our legal advocates can also access information about your partner’s case, a pending release, bail conditions, the specifications on no-contact orders and other court-related matters. For an in-depth understanding of our legal advocacy services, please read our Legal Advocacy Services Guide blog post.

During the building closure, Legal Advocates continue to process all LAPs, Lethality Assessment Protocols, and are available to answer questions and talk with clients who have questions about protection orders. Legal Advocates are also still supporting clients through court processes such as 1st appearances, motions, pre-trials, and arraignments.

If you need assistance with a protection order due to intimate partner domestic violence, or if you are the listed victim in a criminal case and you need to speak to an advocate, please call 509-477-3656 option #1. If one of our legal advocates is not able to answer during the time of your call, if it is safe for you to do so, please leave a detailed message including a way to contact you, and a legal advocate will reach out to you as soon as they are able to. If you have worked with a specific legal advocate in the past, please call the general legal advocate line bolded above rather than the phone number for the individual advocate you worked with; this is the fastest way to get a response.

“We want survivors to know that even during quarantine there are options available to them. Our goal is to be as accessible as we can to provide Legal Advocacy to those in need.” – Amy Porter, Legal Advocate Manager


Civil Legal Assistance With Domestic Violence

The best way to connect with our Civil Legal team is through our online intake form. We accept intakes Monday through Wednesday of each week in the order in which they are received. Upon form submission, a member of the Civil Legal team will contact you to schedule an appointment either in-person, over the phone, or virtually. Appointments usually take place the week after the intake is received. If access to the internet is an issue, please contact our front desk at 509-326-1190 for assistance with filling out the form. 

Learn More


YWCA SPOKANE IS HERE FOR YOU

If you or someone you know is impacted by intimate partner domestic violence, know that confidential advocates are always available through our 24hr helpline services by calling 509-326-2255, emailing help@ywcaspokane.org, or texting 509-220-3725.

To learn more about accessing additional services through YWCA Spokane during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit ywcaspokane.org/services. Thank you!

By: Mia Morton

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