Legal Support

For Survivors of Intimate Partner Domestic Violence

Free Legal Assistance for Survivors

Navigating the legal and court systems can be overwhelming. Our Legal Department is committed to offering free assistance, advice, and legal representation to survivors of intimate partner domestic violence of all genders and backgrounds.

Services Offered

Legal Advocacy

Our team of legal advocates (also referred to as victim advocates) can assist with domestic violence protection orders and provide victim support in domestic violence criminal cases. If you are in need of a protection order or are a domestic violence crime victim, we can help you navigate the courts.

Monday Walk-In Clinic

If an advocate is not able to answer your call, please leave a detailed message, including a safe way to contact you so we can respond within 1–2 business days.

Family Law Services

Our team of attorneys and paralegal can assist survivors with civil legal issues related to family law matters (divorce, custody, child support, and parentage). We offer advice, brief services and limited attorney representation in certain family law and protection order cases.

To access this free service, complete the online intake form. After your intake has been reviewed, we will contact you to schedule an appointment either in-person, over the phone, or virtually.

Intake Form

If internet access is a problem, contact our front desk at 509-326-1190 for help completing the online form.

Additional Information

Legal Advocacy services empower survivors through the criminal court process can also and provide information on the various civil protection orders available. They are here to explain your rights as a crime victim, support you through the process, or seek formal legal protection.

If you are seeking formal legal protection from your partner’s 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.

If your partner has been charged with a domestic violence offense, legal advocates can help keep you updated on the case. 

For support, you can contact our legal advocates at 509-477-3656, option #1. Our legal advocates do not handle matters of family law. However, our licensed legal professionals can (See the Civil Legal Aid tab).

Additional Resources:

The Civil Legal team provides assistance with family law matters related to intimate partner domestic violence such as divorce, custody, child support, and parentage. Services include offering advice, brief services, or full representation, in certain cases.

Due to high demand and limited staff capacity, our online Civil Legal Intake Form is open each week starting on Mondays until we reach our case limit. If internet access is a problem, contact our front desk at 509-326-1190 for help completing the online form.

If Our Intake Form is Closed

In the event that we are unable to accept new family law intakes, please contact Northwest Justice Project at 1-888-201-1014 on weekdays between 9:15am – 12:15pm or apply online for their legal assistance here. If you are currently working with a YWCA advocate, you may request that they provide a direct referral to Northwest Justice Project.

At YWCA Spokane, we focus on supporting survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and their children. It's often difficult to identify various forms of abuse, particularly when they are indirect or not as obvious as physical and/or sexual violence. The Power and Control Wheel is helpful in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used to establish and maintain control over a partner.

The legal definition of domestic violence (DV) is RCW 7.105.010(9)(a) and includes:
  • Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
  • Creating a fear that physical harm, bodily injury, or assault will happen
  • Sexual assault
  • Non-consensual sexual conduct
  • Non-consensual sexual penetration
  • Coercive control
  • Unlawful harassment
  • Stalking

You can read more about the legal definition of domestic violence here.

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 but some can result in criminal charges. Each person is responsible for reporting violations experienced.

Civil Protection Order options:
  • Superior Court Protection Order Forms: For survivors who are married, have children in common, are 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.

If you have questions, you can reach out to our legal advocates at 509-477-3656, option #1.

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 helpline at 509-326-CALL (2255).

Please contact Northwest Justice Project at 1-888-201-1014 on weekdays between 9:15am – 12:15pm or apply 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.

Pop-up Legal Clinics

A variety of community organizations occasionally host legal clinics, including:

  • Justice Night Clinics (in conjunction with Gonzaga Law and The Way to Justice)
  • Spokane Fatherhood Initiative (SpoFI)
  • Latinos en Spokane

Other Community Advocacy Organizations

Depending on your situation, additional community advocacy organizations may also be able to offer assistance. 

Blog

Apr 4, 2024 Jun 21 @ 7:27 pm

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Hope Stones Jewelry

Custom Jewelry Made by Women at YWCA will be sold in our Lobby May 2nd & 3rd to benefit our Safe Shelter What: Hope Stones Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale – find the perfect Mother’s Day gift for the mothers in…

Apr 2, 2024 Jun 21 @ 7:27 pm

Mission Moment – Safe Shelter

About YWCA Spokane’s Safe Shelter is an emergency shelter service for survivors in the Spokane and surrounding area who are fleeing imminent danger from abusive intimate partners. In 2023, our Safe Shelter served 130 adults and 118 dependents. Additionally, 85…

Dec 1, 2023 Jun 21 @ 7:27 pm

Mission Moment – Mobile Housing

About Mobile Housing Advocacy Everyone deserves safe and stable housing. The housing system is a complex and confusing process with resources and options that are always changing. YWCA Spokane Mobile Housing Advocates are a truly mobile team and meet clients…

Events

May 6, 2024 Jun 24 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

DV 101 Training: Recognize. Respond. Refer.

June 24th, 2024 10:00am – 11:30am Join YWCA Spokane for this important free, virtual training on June 24th. Learn more about intimate partner domestic violence, how to help a friend, and about YWCA Spokane’s free and confidential services. This Training…

May 20, 2024 Jun 27 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

DV 101 Training: Recognize. Respond. Refer.

June 27th, 2024 2:00pm – 3:30pm Join YWCA Spokane for this important free, virtual training on June 27th. Learn more about intimate partner domestic violence, how to help a friend, and about YWCA Spokane’s free and confidential services. This Training…

May 20, 2024 Jul 15 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

DV 201 Training: Learning in Action

July 15th, 2024 10:00am – 11:30am Join YWCA Spokane for this new free, virtual training on July 15th. Learn more about the unique barriers and challenges survivors navigate on a daily basis and talk through how you might help a…