When a resident of Washington or their child has become a victim of domestic violence, it may be possible for that individual to file for a domestic violence order of protection. There are, however, certain legal requirements that must be met before such an order can be filed.
A victim who wants to obtain an order or protection must be age 16 or older. Orders can be issued against current and former spouses, parents of a filer's child, domestic partners, adults related by blood, adults who are or were residing with the filer, individuals the filer has or had a dating relationship with and individuals who have a legal parent-child relationship with the filer.
If a victim is between the ages of 13 and 16, they can request that a protection order be issued against any of the aforementioned household or family members. If a victim wishes to obtain an order of protection against an individual they have had a dating relationship with, that individual must be at least 16 years old, and evidence of violence must be presented. If someone has been stalked or sexually assaulted or domestic violence has been carried out by an individual not listed above, other orders for protection may be available.
In the event that a victim of domestic abuse needs help with requesting a protection order, a legal professional may be of assistance. After gathering evidence, a lawyer may take the claim to court where a judge will then make a ruling. If there is not enough evidence to file for a protection order, other options may be available that the victim and attorney can pursue.