Domestic violence can occur in any type of relationship. It crosses racial, socio-economic and age lines and isn’t limited to a “type” of person or couple. If fact, it will may surprise you to know that one in five Washington women has reported being injured by domestic violence during their lifetime, according to Washington State Department of Health statistics. Those same statics estimate that 10 to 20 percent of emergency rooms visits by women with intimate partners result from domestic violence.
Remember, you are not alone. If an act of domestic violence occurs in your home, you should immediately call your local sheriff or police department, or 911 to request law enforcement assistance.
You may wish to seek a restraining order or a protective order to keep a violent spouse, or ex, away from you. There are several ways you can obtain restraining or protective orders. There are different legal actions that can be taken for unmarried parents and divorced or divorcing couples. You can also ask the court to order your spouse or former spouse to turn over their weapons to law enforcement and stop harassing you.
If a person is actually arrested for a domestic violence offense, the court may order the person to stay away from the victim. Victims can also seek protective orders through local courts, and as part of a divorce, victims of domestic violence can seek temporary or continuing restraining orders.
Restraining orders are binding and serious. If the restrained person violates the court order they could be arrested.
If someone has a restraining order on them, the protected person cannot waive that restraint without court approval. So, even if a protected person invites someone in that the court has placed a restraining order against, the person under order could still be arrested.
If you need legal advice you can contact an attorney for assistance. You can also find assistance through the Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 562-6025.