Call 509-477-3656 to reach a YWCA legal advocate
- Pursuing Legal Action with Domestic Violence
- Legal action with a domestic violence situation may include securing a protection order or seeking legal support for yourself or with family law matters.
Legal definition of Domestic Violence
Although the YWCA views domestic violence though the larger, more comprehensive lens of “Power and Control”, in relation to legal matters, it is important to acknowledge the legal definition of domestic violence:
- 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
While at the YWCA of Spokane, we are aware that domestic violence often includes verbal and/or mental abuse, 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.
An Order of Protection is a civil order that, when violated, allows police to arrest the person who has been physically controlling, violent, or threatening to attack you.
It is important to note, not all violations result in an arrest. Each person is responsible for reporting violations experienced.
Legal Support and Advocacy
Navigating the legal system and courts can be overwhelming. Legal terms, processes and federal/state/municipal laws are often confusing and frustrating.
YWCA legal advocates advocate for survivors within the legal system. They can help domestic violence survivors by answering many of the questions about the civil or criminal court processes.
If you need formal, legal protection from your partners abuse, advocates can help you apply for a Civil Order for Protection to prevent your partner from directly or indirectly contacting, harassing, stalking or abusing you in anyway.
If your partner has been charged with a domestic violence offense, you may need support through the court process. Our legal advocates can access information about your partner’s case, a pending release, bail conditions, the specifications on no-contact orders and other court related matters.
Civil Legal assistance is available to assist survivors of intimate-partner domestic violence with legal issues related to family law (divorce, custody, child support, parentage, protection orders).
Wrap-Around Wednesdays: There is now a Civil Legal Clinic offering limited unbundled legal services including legal advice and court forms assistance. Located at the YWCA (Central Y) each week, these free services are for women with multiple needs.
An attorney is available on an appointment basis–all free of charge. For more information or to set an appointment, please call: 509-477-3656.
- In 2015, 54 people died in Washington State as a result of domestic violence.
- Perpetrators used firearms to commit 73% of domestic violence homicides in 2015.
- In at least 45% of domestic violence cases, the abuser committed the homicide after the relationship ended or when the victim was in the process of leaving.
- In 2015, the Counseling Program supported over 4000 survivors of domestic violence and their children with safety planning, practical resources and referrals, and education on healthy relationships.
- Over 2,000 victims of domestic violence & their children are supported by the YWCA’s legal services each year.