Domestic Violence

This guide briefly discusses issues related to domestic violence situations in Washington State.   Visit either of the following web sites for definitions of the terms used here:

For immediate assistance, call

the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233

800-787-3224 TTY

24 Hour Crisis Line 800-273-8255



Domestic violence occurs if someone you know is harassing, threatening, stalking, or hitting you, restraining your freedom of movement, or destroying your property. You do not have to married for the violence to be considered domestic. Domestic violence occurs if you are being abused by your spouse or former spouse, parent, child, or someone you live with or used to live with.


Many actions associated with domestic violence may be crimes independently so you may need to review the laws in RCW Title 9 and RCW Title 9A.  In addition, you should review the laws in RCW Title 10.99 and RCW Title 26.50.

Forms and Instructions:

Forms and instructions from the State Court’s web site: Use this link to find State-approved forms and instructions for domestic violence issues.

Protection Order Forms from the King County Law Library.

Sealed Name Change Petition and Order Forms from the King County Law Library.

General Information:

If you would like an overview of domestic violence issues, click on a link below.

Books in the Library:

  • Washington Family Law Deskbook, KF 505 Z99 W36 2000. This 3-volume set contains detailed information about marriage, dissolution, and child custody matters. It is a good source for discussions of the law and of the policies that underlie the law. It also briefly addresses guardianships, parentage, non-marital couples, and domestic violence.
  • Washington Community Property Deskbook, KF 526 .W38. This publication examines the ownership of property by married people in Washington. It details the basics of characterizing property as “his-hers-ours” and includes a discussion of creditor’s rights and tax considerations.
  • Washington Practice, KFW 80 .W3 REF. Volumes 19 to 22 of this invaluable resource cover Family and Community Property Law. Here you will find detailed and technical discussions of all aspects of domestic relations law.
  • Domestic Violence Bench Guide for Judicial Officers, KFW 567 .F35 D66 2016.  Produced by the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, this manual was written to provide practical reference information for judges and court staff but is also very useful for anyone researching domestic violence issues.

If You Need More Help:

Guide to Domestic Violence Legal Clinics & Resources in King County

Sexual Violence Legal Services: Comprehensive legal services and holistic representation for victims of sexual violence. Our attorneys provide trauma-informed assistance in most areas of law. To speak with an attorney, call our Legal Line Monday – Friday during business hours at (206) 832-3620 or (844) 999-7857.

Confidential Address Program: The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) provides participants with a legal substitute address and a mail-forwarding service. Survivors use the substitute address on public records. Participants may also use the substitute address for personal use, just like any new address. Participant mail is sent to the substitute address and routed to the ACP. The ACP team will forward participant mail to the actual address. To be eligible for Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program, participants must be:

  • An adult, parent or guardian acting on behalf of minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated person; and
  • Be a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, stalking or a certain criminal justice employee who has been the target of felony harassment; and
  • Reside in Washington; and
  • Relocate in a place unknown to the perpetrator; and
  • Reside in an address not currently documented in public record.

Applications for a confidential address are only accepted through approved Application Assistant programs (

To learn more:

  • Website:
  • Toll free (WA only): 1-800-822-1065
  • Local: (360) 753-2972
  • Mailing: PO Box 257, Olympia, WA 98507-0257

Family Law Facilitators: For divorce, parenting plans, and support only. The Family Law Facilitators, located in Room W382 in the King County Courthouse and Room 3D in the Maleng Regional Justice Center, can provide information on court rules and procedures, and review forms to make sure they are complete. They cannot give legal advice, provide or fill out forms, or assist in trial preparation. We encourage you to make an appointment to have all your paperwork reviewed prior to filing. There are limited walk-in hours in the mornings; we recommend you call for an appointment. 206-296-9092

Legal Voice (formerly known as Northwest Women’s Law Center): This non-profit agency provides classes, publications, and referrals for women and men living in the Northwest. 206-621-7691

CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice, and Referral): CLEAR is Northwest Justice Project’s innovative statewide toll-free telephone service for low-income people to obtain free legal assistance with civil legal problems in Washington state. The hotline operates between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. weekdays and Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. CLEAR Sr. is a similar project which serves people age 60 and over regardless of their financial situation.

CLEAR – 1-888-201-1014

CLEAR Sr. (60 and over) – 1-888-387-7111

Links Updated: August 2021