Legal Assistance

courtroom and gavel

The legal definition of domestic violence does not include all of the types of controlling behavior abusers may use in a relationship. Many actions that are abusive—and which reinforce an abuser’s coercive control over the survivor—are not illegal.

Domestic violence is defined in Washington State law in RCW 26.50.010  and RCW 10.99.020.

Legal help

We do not provide direct advocacy or legal advice/representation for victims. Please contact your local domestic violence advocacy program to learn about legal services in your community and check out the legal services and self-help resources listed below.

Legal services

Legal information and self-help resources

Protection Orders

Washington State offers many types of protective orders to victims of crime. For information on the different types of orders and resources to help understand the range of options, click here.

Family law

It’s tough to get divorced or deal with child custody when your partner is abusive. Here is a collection of information and resources to help you learn about the options available.


For more information, please visit our Legal Advocacy Project page or search the “Legal-Civil and Legal-Criminal” topics in our Resource Library.