Domestic Violence Victim Resources

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence offenses are any criminal act committed by one "family or household member" against another.

A "family or household member" includes:

  • Persons who are currently or have been married or resided together.
  • Persons who are currently or have been in a dating relationship (both parties must be at least sixteen years of age).
  • Persons who have a child together.
  • Parent/child, step-parent/step-child relationships, and grandparent/grandchild (including step-grandparents) and siblings.

Seattle Municipal Court hears misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor domestic violence offenses.

Offenses include:

  • Assault
  • Property destruction
  • Harassment and telephone harassment
  • Intimidation with a weapon
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Violation of no contact or domestic violence protection orders

Felony domestic violence offenses occurring in King County, such as a no contact order violation involving an assault, a third violation of a no contact order, assault with a deadly weapon, or even murder, are heard in King County Superior Court. Felony domestic violence offenses are punishable by more than one year in jail.

For Victims of Domestic Violence

The Seattle City Attorney's Office Domestic Violence Unit provides assistance and information to victims of domestic violence, including referrals to shelters, counseling, safety plans and more.

Phone: (206) 684-7757

Civil Protection Orders

Domestic violence victims may file a court petition for a civil protection order which does not involve the police or criminal charges.

A civil protection order:

  • Prohibits contact of any kind.
  • Removes the abuser from a shared residence.
  • Grants temporary custody of children and sets visitation schedules.
  • Orders the abuser into treatment and/or counseling.

The Seattle Municipal Court does not accept petitions for civil protection orders. Petitions can be filed at King County Superior Court, or another Superior or District court in Washington.

To learn more about court orders that offer legal protection from domestic violence, harassment, or abuse, download the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts brochure.

Civil Protection Order Assistance

King County Superior Court Clerk's Office

516 Third Avenue
Room 378-W, 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: (206) 296-7870

Protection Order Advocacy Program

Advocates will explain the process, help complete forms, and accompany the applicant through the court process.

Phone: (206) 477-1103

Additional Resources

Municipal Court

Address: 600 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO BOX 34987, Seattle, WA, 98124-4987
Phone: (206) 684-5600

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