If you are stuck indoors with an abusive partner or household member, please know that there is help available to you in the state of Washington. With recent events surrounding Covid-19, in many ways it feels that the world around us has shut down, leaving many unsure of what services and help is still available. If you are experiencing domestic violence, the courts are still hearing cases and providing protective orders, so you can seek immediate relief if needed.
There are various types of Restraining & Protective Orders available in Washington. Some of these include:
- Vulnerable Adult Protection Act- This protective order can be applied for by a vulnerable adult, or a legal fiduciary on behalf of a vulnerable adult. A vulnerable adult includes those who are over 60 without the physical, mental or functional ability to care for themselves, or for adults 18+ who are incapacitated for have a developmental disability.
- Antiharassment Protection Order- This protective order can be filed by an adult who is a victim of unlawful harassment, or by an adult on behalf of a minor. This protective order is for those who are subjected to an intentional and willful conduct that is intended to alarm, annoy, or create substantial emotional distress.
- Domestic Violence Protection Order- a victim of domestic violence can file a Petition with the court requesting a restraining order if the abuser is related by blood, a spouse, former spouse or domestic partner or a person with whom you are cohabiting or have cohabited. You can also petition for a restraining order if the abuser is a person with whom you had a dating relationship with over the age of 16, if you share a child with the person, or if you have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.
- Sexual Assault Protection Order- A protective order can be filed by anyone over the age of 16 who has been sexually abused or assaulted, or by an adult on behalf of a minor, unless the victim qualifies for a domestic violence protection order.
- Stalking Protection Order- Stalking protection orders provide protection from someone who is stalking you or your immediate family or household member.
As a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if you are renting a house, apartment, condominium or other type of residence, you may also have the following rights:
- You may be able to terminate your lease early without having to pay an early termination fee.
- If you qualify for a protective order, you can ask the judge to order the person abusing you to move out of your rental home.
- You can request your landlord to terminate the tenancy of your abuser without terminating your tenancy or being required to pay additional rent or an additional deposit or fee due to exclusion of the perpetrator.
Do not wait to take action against your abuser. If you are in need of help and don’t know where to look, our firm is here to provide direction on the best steps to take to ensure protection for you and your family. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys and discuss your options, call our office today at (360) 605-1000.