Legal

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Our legal team is here to help!

Legal Advocacy

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 are considering a protection order or have further questions about the process, we invite you to explore the legal advocates’ answers to a list of frequently asked questions on this page.

How to Access YWCA Spokane’s Civil Legal Services

Our Civil Legal department accepts online intakes Monday through Wednesday of each week. Intakes are accepted in the order in which they are received. After you submit an online intake form, a member of the Civil Legal team will contact you to schedule an appointment either in-person, over the phone or virtually. Appointments are scheduled the following week after online intakes are received.

If you would like to speak to an attorney for a matter related to intimate partner domestic violence, please complete our online intake form below.

YWCA Spokane Civil Legal Client Intake
Are you a victim of Intimate Partner Domestic Violence? *

Client Information

Are you represented by an attorney? *

Opposing Party / Intimate Partner Information

Are they represented by an attorney? *

Children's Information, if Applicable

Are there children involved in this case? *

Demographics

The information you provide in this section is for statistical reports that are used to fund YWCA Spokane's Domestic Violence Service Center. Your answers to these questions will not affect your ability to receive services.
How would you describe your race and ethnic background? *
Are you disabled? *
Are you an immigrant, refuge, or asylum seeker? *
Is English your first language? *
Do you live in a rural area? *
How would you describe the nature of your relationship with the opposing party? *

Policies and Procedures

Please check each statement below to verify your understanding *
If you are unable to fill out the online intake form above because you do not have access to the internet, please call our front desk at 509-326-1190. Our front desk staff will be able to help you fill out the online intake.

We are dedicated to providing intimate partner domestic violence survivors civil legal services. However, at times the number of intakes received may exceed the capacity of our Civil Legal department. In the event that we are unable to process or accept intakes, please contact Northwest Justice Project by calling 1-888-201-1014 on weekdays between 9:15 am – 12:15 pm. If you prefer not to contact the Northwest Justice Project yourself, one of our advocates may be able to provide a direct referral for you as a survivor of intimate partner domestic violence.

How to Access Northwest Justice Project Referral Request

For those seeking a referral to the Northwest Justice Project, please call our advocate message line at 509-789-9289 to request a CLEAR CV referral. If an advocate is not able to answer at the time of your call, please leave a voicemail including; your first and last name, a safe phone number to contact you, and a clear statement indicating that you are calling for a CLEAR CV referral. An advocate will return your call within three (3) business days. Please be aware that Northwest Justice Project does not promise to represent clients in court and cannot assist clients if a client already has a lawyer.


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. If you are considering filing for an Order of Protection, you may find it helpful to review both the Superior Court Protection Order and the District Court Protection Order forms in addition to reaching out to one of our legal advocates by calling 509-477-3656 option #1.

Family Law

Attorneys and paralegals within our Civil Legal Department are able to provide assistance to help 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. If you would like to get support from one of our attorney’s or paralegals for a family law matter, please see the instructions at the top of this webpage.


The Facts

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men in Spokane 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 1,052 domestic violence related fatalities between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2015 (Washington State Coalition 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).



Additional Services

Curious about additional services at YWCA Spokane? Check out our regularly updated list of services available here.