Domestic Violence Assistance
Who Can be Protected?
If you or your children are victims of "domestic violence" by a "family or household member", you can apply for an Order for Protection. This section identifies domestic violence and commonly asked questions.
Domestic Violence Includes:
- Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
- Fear of physical harm, bodily injury, or assault
- Sexual assault
Family or Household Member Includes:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Persons having a child in common
- Adult persons related by blood or marriage
- Adult persons who presently (or in the past) reside together
- Persons 16 years and older who have or had a dating relationship
- Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship including stepparents and stepchildren or grandparents and grandchildren
What is an Order for Protection?
- An Order for Protection is a civil order that restrains the person who has been committing acts of violence from further acts of assault or threat.
An Order for Protection CAN:
- Restrain him or her from committing acts of domestic violence.
- Exclude him or her from your residence.
- Prohibit him or her from harassment and/or contacting you on the street, by mail, by telephone, at school, or at work.
- Award temporary custody to one parent, establish temporary visitation, and restrain one parent from interfering with custody.
- Order one or both parties to participate in treatment or counseling.
- Prohibit the removal of the children from the jurisdiction of the court.
- Award temporary use of shared vehicle and possession of essential personal effects.
An Order for Protection CANNOT:
- Order child support, maintenance income, or assign property to either party.
- Establish permanent child custody or use of family home.
How Do I Get an Order for Protection?
The forms are free at the Chelan County Clerk's Office. You will complete the forms petitioning the court for a Temporary Order for Protection. You will be asked to describe the most recent incident and/or threat of domestic violence and a history of domestic violence. A Judge or Commissioner will review your paperwork, may ask you some questions, and decide whether to grant or deny a temporary order.
A second hearing will be held in approximately two weeks to grant or deny an Order for Protection effective for one year or more. During these two weeks, the respondent is served with both the Petition and the Temporary Order with notice of the date set for the hearing. You must attend this hearing even if the respondent has not been served. Security officers are available at the courthouse if you believe the possibility of danger exists.
What You Can Do to Help Yourself:
- Learn about domestic violence
- Seek support of caring persons who understand this very real problem
- Call 911 for emergency purposes
- Seek medical attention, if needed, as soon as possible
- Ask for information on legal rights
- Work out a plan to protect yourself and your children that includes:
- Emergency arrangements for safety
- Escape routes with children
- A working telephone
- Access to car keys and important papers
- Phone number of victim services or a shelter in your area
Help Is Only a Phone Call Away:
Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Center (formerly Phoenix Place) 663-7446.
If the incident does not involve a family or household member as defined above, an Anti-harassment Action may be sought in the District Court in Chelan County.
Unlawful harassment means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses such person and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct shall be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and shall actually cause substantial distress to the petitioner. (Course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.) Basically, it has to have happened more than once.