Legal

Our legal team is here to help!

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence means different things to different people. For 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.

Often, it is difficult to identify various forms of abuse, particularly when they are indirect or not as obvious as physical and/or sexual violence. YWCA Power and Control Wheel diagram is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors which are used to establish and maintain control over a partner.


Legal definition of Domestic Violence

Although YWCA Spokane views domestic violence through 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
      • Stalking

While at YWCA 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.


Legal Support and Advocacy

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 any way.

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.

Navigating the legal system and courts can be overwhelming. Legal terms, processes and federal/state/municipal laws are often confusing and frustrating. See our legal advocacy services quick guide for help.

LEGAL QUICK GUIDE


Obtaining legal assistance

Protection Orders

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.

Family Law

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). Our Legal Advocates do not handle matters of family law; however, our Counseling Advocates are available to assist in these matters. Please visit our webpage, or call 509-789-9297 for more information.

FAMILY LAW SUPPORT

*Note: Legal action with a domestic violence situation may include securing a protection order or seeking legal support for yourself or with family law matters.*

HOW TO ACCESS SERVICES

You can access our services in 3 different ways.

  • 24-Hour Domestic Violence Helpline: 509-326-CALL (2255)
  • Call the counseling office at 509.789.9297 during business hours to ask questions or to schedule a consultation.
    • Monday – Thurs: 8am-noon, 1pm-5pm
    • Friday: 8am-noon, 1-3pm
  • Stop by to receive immediate support during  Wrap Around Wednesday, a public clinic designed to provide access to as many of our services as possible in one setting. These sessions are condensed versions to get a survivor setup with action steps as soon as possible.
    • Every Wednesday 1-5pm
      • There is no need to arrive early to receive legal services, as they are determined by a lottery system. Please call 509-789-9297 for any questions.
      • If you are unsure if this is the right place to start, call our 24hr helpline to help you assess the situation.

WRAP AROUND WEDNESDAY FLYER


The Facts

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
  • 30-50% of transgender people will experience domestic violence in their lifetime
  • Females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group at the rate almost triple the national average
  • Domestic violence happens with about the same frequency in gay and lesbian relationships (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: 2013 Report On Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, & HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence
  • In 2015, 54 people died in Washington State as a result of domestic violence (Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Washington State has had 1052 domestic violence related fatalities between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2015 (Washington StateCoalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Our crisis line is answered over 3,800 times per year, and in that year we help over 13,000 survivors and their kids in our Alternatives to Domestic Violence Program.

Call 509-477-3656 to reach a YWCA Spokane Legal Advocate. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 helpline at 509-789-CALL (2255).