Legal Support for Domestic Violence
The YWCA can assist you at no cost with many of the legal issues that arise in situations of domestic violence. Our team of legal advocates, LLLT, and attorneys can help you prepare and file protection orders, navigate the courts as victims in criminal cases, and provide attorney services and limited representation in family law cases.
Access Protection Order Support & Legal Advocacy
Our legal advocates can help survivors of intimate-partner domestic violence by answering many 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. For support, you can contact our legal advocates by calling 509-477-3656 option #1. Our Legal Advocates do not handle matters of family law, however our licensed legal professionals can (see below).
Click for more information about:
- Protection orders, including a link to the protection order packets.
- Definition of domestic violence.
Access Family Law Services
Our team of paralegals, LLLT, and attorneys are able to provide assistance to help survivors of intimate partner domestic violence with legal issues related to family law matters (divorce, custody, child support, and parentage).
The best way to connect with our Civil Legal team is through our online intake form. We accept DV-related family law intakes beginning on Monday morning, and they remain open until we reach our weekly case limit*. We then review them in the order in which they are received. After your intake has been reviewed, 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 online intake.
>>> The Intake Form is currently closed and will reopen on Monday at 9AM <<<
What To Do When We Are Unable To Accept New Intakes
In the event that we are unable to accept new family law intakes, please contact Northwest Justice Project by calling 1-888-201-1014 on weekdays between 9:15 am – 12:15 pm or applying for their legal assistance online here. If you are currently working with a YWCA advocate, you may request that they provide a direct referral to Northwest Justice Project for you.
What Is Domestic Violence?
At YWCA Spokane, we focus on supporting survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and their children. We know that domestic violence can mean different things to different people. At YWCA Spokane, we view intimate partner 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 people who are directly impacted by intimate partner domestic violence 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
The legal definition of domestic violence includes:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
- Creating a fear that physical harm, bodily injury, or assault will happen
- Sexual assault
- Nonconsensual sexual conduct
- Nonconsensual sexual penetration
- Coercive control
- Unlawful harassment
You can read more about the meaning of the legal definition of domestic violence here.
An Order of Protection, often called a Protection Order, is a civil order that, when violated, allows police to arrest the person who has been abusive. It is important to note, not all violations result in an arrest. Each person is responsible for reporting violations experienced. Order of Protection options:
- Superior Court Protection Order Forms: For survivors who are married, have children in common, living together, either party is under the age of 16 and filing for their own protection order, involved in a felony case, or are filing on behalf of a vulnerable adult.
- District Court Protection Order Forms: For survivors who are currently in or were in a dating relationship and are not living together now, do not have children together, and are not married.
Explore our list of frequently asked questions to learn more. You can also reach out to our legal advocates by calling 509-477-3656 option #1.
If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 helpline at 509-326-CALL (2255).
Curious about additional services at YWCA Spokane? Check out our regularly updated list of services available here.