County LogoClallam County, Washington

Domestic Violence

^Arrow to Top^What is Domestic Violence?

  • A pattern of violent and coercive tactics
  • One person seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs or conduct of another
  • Non-violent tactics of control are often coupled with violence or the threat of violent acts
  • Violence, the threat of violence, or the fear of retaliation give the batterer the power to enforce the victim’s compliance while reminding him/her of the consequences if challenged or resisted.
  • Physical violence may happen infrequently, but abusers use coercive behaviors every day which allow them to maintain control of the relationship.
  • Physical violence only has to occur once to create a climate of fear and shape future actions for the victim of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a learned pattern of physical, verbal, sexual and/or emotional behaviors in which one person in a relationship uses force and intimidation to dominate or control the other person. The partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. Domestic violence occurs in all ages, races, genders and social classes. In Washington, Domestic Violence is defined by RCW 10.99.02 As:

"Domestic violence" means: (a) Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110 of one family or household member by another family or household member.

"Family or household members" means: spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.

"Dating relationship" means: a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider in making this determination include: (a) The length of time the relationship has existed; (b) the nature of the relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the parties.

"Victim" means: a family or household member who has been subjected to domestic violence.

^Arrow to Top^General Information. If you are a victim...

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you can ask the city or county prosecuting attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition in superior, district, or municipal court requesting an order for protection from domestic abuse which could include any of the following: (a) An order restraining your abuser from further acts of abuse; (b) an order directing your abuser to leave your household; (c) an order preventing your abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment; (d) an order awarding you or the other parent custody of or visitation with your minor child or children; and (e) an order restraining your abuser from molesting or interfering with minor children in your custody. The forms you need to obtain a protection order are available in any municipal, district, or superior court.

Information about shelters and alternatives to domestic violence is available from a statewide twenty-four-hour toll-free hot line at 1-800-562-6025. The battered women’s shelter and other resources in your area are seen on the last page of this flyer” RCW 10.99.030 (7)

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is committed to your safety and the safety of your family. IF YOU FEEL YOUR LIFE OR SAFETY IS IN JEOPARDY, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY! If not an emergency, call our 24-hour a day dispatch at 417-2459 to report the violation and speak to any one of our deputies who are trained to handle domestic violence issues.

The Sheriff’s Office firmly believes that a community that educates itself is a safer and healthier community. Therefore, we are providing the following information and resources in order to help you understand domestic violence and avoid the fear and danger associated with it.

^Arrow to Top^Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

  • Abusive behavior is learned
  • Ending violence is NOT an act of will power or self-control
  • Violence will not end without intervention and a coordinated community response that hold the abuser accountable for every act of violence.
  • Without intervention, abusive behavior will not get better
  • Most abusers become more violent with time.
  • With time, the extent of injuries, both emotional and physical, will become more severe and frequent

^Arrow to Top^What About Children?

  • Even if children are not physically abused themselves, family violence teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to solve their problems
  • Children who witness the violence can be emotionally bruised and more likely to repeat the cycle of violence in their adulthood
  • Children can often be injured in the course of witnessing family violence and are more likely to be abused than those not in homes with domestic violence

^Arrow to Top^What are the signs?

The following list indicates behaviors that may lead to physical abuse/domestic violence in a relationship:

  • History of family violence
  • Use of violence to resolve problems, quick temper
  • Alcohol/Drug abuse
  • Jealousy with other relationships/friendships
  • Expectation that you should follow orders/advice
  • Mood swings

The following list contains signs of domestic violence:

  • Name calling/put downs
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Withholding money
  • Actual or threatened physical harm
  • Sexual assault

^Arrow to Top^What can I do?

  • Learn all you can about domestic violence  
  • Seek support from caring people
  • Develop a plan to protect yourself and your children
  • Ask for information about your rights
  • Get legal protection
  • Ask for prosecuting attorney’s office to file a criminal complaint
  • File a petition in Superior, District or Municipal Court requesting an order of protection from domestic violence
  • Seek help from your local domestic violence agency

^Arrow to Top^What can an Order do for you?

There are four different types of orders issued by the court system.  These orders can assist with any of the following: 

  • Restraining your abuser from further acts of abuse
  • Directing your abuser to leave the household
  • Preventing your abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment
  • Awarding you, or the other parent, custody of or visitation with your minor children
  • Restraining your abuser from molesting or interfering with minor children in your custody
  • A court order is strongly recommended to provide you greater protection, however police will arrest your abuser without a court order
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if you are being attacked

^Arrow to Top^What are the four (4) types of orders?

Protection Order

  • Civil order available to anyone over the age of 16
  • Must be a victim of physical harm OR be in fear of being physically harmed
  • Victim must have a current or former relationship with the abuser such as a family or household member, dating or having a child in common
  • Orders are available through District or Superior Court
  • There is NO CHARGE for Domestic Violence Protection Orders. Other Protection Orders can be available through District or Superior Court at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. 4th Street, Port Angeles.
  • Your abuser will be notified of the order and will be subject to mandatory arrest for violating the order
  • The order can be a “stand alone” order OR  coupled with a No-Contact or Restraining Order
  • The order will remain in effect until expiration (usually 1 year)
  • YOU can choose to modify or drop the order by requesting changes in writing and appearing before the court
  • YOU have choices about your level of protection in a Protection Order

No-Contact Order

  • Criminal order pending a criminal action
  • You can NOT obtain a No-Contact Order on you own.  An incident must be reported to the police with criminal charges pending
  • The Judge must issue this order pending the release of a defendant from the jail, at the time of arraignment and at sentencing
  • Can be obtained through District or Superior Court for NO CHARGE
  • Abuser is provided with a verbal and written notice at arraignment and sentencing
  • A violation of the conditions subjects the abuser to mandatory arrest and additional criminal or contempt charges may also be filed
  • Will be dropped if pending criminal charges are dismissed and the victim may not be notified
  • Your petition may be denied to drop/modify the order
  • You may NOT have a choice on the level of protection you are issued in a No-Contact Order

Restraining Order

  • Civil order that must be filed with another family law action (such as a dissolution or parenting plan)
  • Can only be filed when the victim and abuser are married or have a child in common
  • Can only be obtained in Superior Court
  • Filing fees apply but can be waived if unable to pay
  • Your abuser will be notified and subject to mandatory arrest or other charges if the list of criminal conditions in the order are violated
  • You have minimal choices about your level of protection in a restraining order

Anti-Harassment Order

  • Civil order available to anyone who is seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed by conduct which serves no legitimate purpose
  • No relationships usually exist between parties
  • Available through District Court with limited provisions for referring cases to Superior Court
  • Filing fees apply but can be reduced or waived
  • Violations can bring criminal or contempt charges    

More information about No Contact, Protection, Restraining Orders & Anti-Harassment Proceedings.

What Help and services are available?

Crisis Hotlines

Peninsula Mental Health 360-452-4500
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-562-SAFE

Emergency Housing and Shelters

Healthy Families of Clallam County
24-hour Crisis Line
Serenity House of Clallam County 360-452-7221

Local Domestic Violence Agencies

Healthy Families of Clallam County
24-hour Crisis Line
Lower Elwha Klallam Domestic Violence Program 360-452-8471 Ext. 200
Jamestown S’Klallam Domestic Violence Support 360-681-4628
Forks Abuse Program
24-hour Crisis Line

Victim Services

Healthy Families of Clallam County 360-452-3811
Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Coordinator 360-417-2368

Legal Assistance

Pro Bono Legal Services 360-417-0818
Evergreen Legal Services 1-800-542-1647

^Arrow to Top^What Crimes Are Considered "Domestic Violence?"

"Domestic violence" includes but is not limited to any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another:

  1. Assault in the first degree (RCW 9A.36.011);
  2. Assault in the second degree (RCW 9A.36.021);
  3. Assault in the third degree (RCW 9A.36.031);
  4. Assault in the fourth degree (RCW 9A.36.041);
  5. Drive-by shooting (RCW 9A.36.045);
  6. Reckless endangerment (RCW 9A.36.050);
  7. Coercion (RCW 9A.36.070);
  8. Burglary in the first degree (RCW 9A.52.020);
  9. Burglary in the second degree (RCW 9A.52.030);
  10. Criminal trespass in the first degree (RCW 9A.52.070);
  11. Criminal trespass in the second degree (RCW 9A.52.080);
  12. Malicious mischief in the first degree (RCW 9A.48.070);
  13. Malicious mischief in the second degree (RCW 9A.48.080);
  14. Malicious mischief in the third degree (RCW 9A.48.090);
  15. Kidnapping in the first degree (RCW 9A.40.020);
  16. Kidnapping in the second degree (RCW 9A.40.030);
  17. Unlawful imprisonment (RCW 9A.40.040);
  18. Violation of the provisions of a restraining order, no-contact order, or protection order restraining or enjoining the person or restraining the person from going onto the grounds of or entering a residence, workplace, school, or day care, or prohibiting the person from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance of a location Rape in the first degree (RCW 9A.44.040);
  19. Rape in the second degree (RCW 9A.44.050);
  20. Residential burglary (RCW 9A.52.025);
  21. Stalking (RCW 9A.46.110); and
  22. Interference with the reporting of domestic violence (RCW 9A.36.150).

^Arrow to Top^Forms of Domestic Violence

The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. Examples of domestic violence are:

  • physical assault or abuse --- hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, choking, punching, kicking, grabbing, beating, throwing her down, tripping, twisting arms, biting, using a weapon
  • threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault or abuse --- unwanted, forced sexual activity, making her do sexual things against her will, physically attacking the sexual parts of her body, etc.
  • stalking
  • intimidation
  • emotional abuse --- mind games, name-calling, put-downs, making the victim feel bad about herself
  • jealousy --- a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust
  • controlling behavior and forced isolation (from family or friends) --- controlling what the victim does, who the victim sees or talks to, where the victim goes, relocating to a remote area, etc.
  • economic abuse --- preventing the victim from getting or holding a job, and controlling the purse-strings by withholding money, taking her earned money, giving her an allowance, making her ask for money, etc.

An important step to help yourself or someone you know prevent or stop violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the "Violence Wheel" (below).

^Arrow to Top^Domestic Violence Wheel, or "Power and Control" Wheel

The Power and Control Wheel below shows some tactics a batterer can use to control you.

Domestic Violoence Wheel

^Arrow to Top^Equality Wheel

The Equality Wheel below shows some elements of a healthy relationship.

Equality Wheel

^Arrow to Top^Are You In An Abusive Relationship? You are not alone!

You are no alone!
You are not to blame!
You can get help!

  • Get medical attention if you have been physically injured.
  • Save evidence to document the abuse (medical records, photographs of injuries and damage to your property, etc.).
  • Make a safety plan, which may include figuring out the "warning signs" that come before abuse:
    • work out signals with neighbors to call the police
    • ask a friend or relative to stay with you
    • decide where you can go and what to take with you if you must leave (money, important documents, spare clothes, car keys, etc.)
    • protect your children
  • Report domestic violence and stalking to the police! They can & will:
    • protect you from immediate danger, and help you and your children get out of the house safely;
    • arrest the abuser without a warrant when there is reasonable cause to believe that an assault has taken place or that the abuser has violated a Protection Order or a restraining order;
    • advise you of available shelter programs and other services in your area;
    • write out a police report which can be used to help prove the abuse occurred and show good cause for a judge to grant a personal protection order or a restraining order.
  • ^Arrow to Top^Facts, Figures and important notes about Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence affects a large percentage of our community

    According to the FBI, 1 out of every 4 women is a victim of domestic violence at least once in her lifetime.

    • In 55% of the cases where men are assaulting their partners, they are also assaulting their children. The battered mother may be suffering from physical and psychological injuries to the point that she cannot meet the needs of her children appropriately.
    • A woman is beaten every 15 seconds. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Report to the nation on Crime and Justice. Washington DC Office of Justice Program, US Dept. of Justice. Oct 1983)
    • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the united States - more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation,1991)
    • Battered women are more likely to suffer miscarriages and to give birth to babies with low birth weights. (Surgeon General, United States, 1992)
    • Sixty-three percent of the young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are serving time for homicide have killed their mother's abuser. (March of Dimes, 1992)

    Battering is not just a "momentary loss of temper."

    • The Surgeon General of the United States reports that 1 out of 5 women battered by their partners have been victimized over and over again by the same person.
    • The American Medical Association defines domestic violence as an ongoing, debilitating experience of physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse.
    • Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse. The batterer uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, etc. to coerce and to control the other person. The violence may not happen often, but it remains as a hidden (and constant) terrorizing factor. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1990)
    • "One in five women victimized by their spouses or ex-spouses report they had been victimized over and over again by the same person." (The Basics of Batterer Treatment, Common Purpose, Inc., Jamaica Plain, MA)

    Domestic violence frequently produces serious injuries.

    • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women age 15 to 44. More women are injured from domestic violence than rapes, muggings and auto crashes combined.

    Leaving an abusive relationship is not "easy".

    • A study by the United States Department of Justice states that the most dangerous time for a woman who is being battered is when she leaves.
    • Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay. (Barbara Hart, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1988)
    • Nationally, 50% of all homeless women and children are on the streets because of violence in the home. (Senator Joseph Biden, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Violence Against Women: Victims of the System, 1991)
    • There are nearly three times as many animal shelters in the United States as there are shelters for battered women and their children. (Senate Judiciary Hearings, Violence Against Women Act, 1990)

    Most battered women leave violent relationships.

    • Many battered women do leave their abusers permanently and succeed in building a life free of violence. Almost all battered women leave at least once.

    Domestic violence knows no boundaries.

    • People of all socio-economic classes, races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and sexual orientations can be victims of domestic violence. Many statistics have been gathered from lower-class families, but only because lower-class women are more likely to request assistance from agencies, so their problems are more visible. Many upper-class victims fear making their battering public because of social embarrassment and fear that it may harm their husband's careers.
    • Women of all cultures, races, occupations, income levels, and ages are battered - by husbands, boyfriends, lovers and partners. (Surgeon General Antonia Novello, as quoted in Domestic Violence: Battered Women, publication of the Reference Department of the Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA)
    • "Approximately one-third of the men counseled (for battering) at Emerge are professional men who are well respected in their jobs and their communities. These have included doctors, psychologists, lawyers, ministers, and business executives. (For Shelter and Beyond, Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups, Boston, MA 1990)
    • Violence is the reason stated for divorce in 22% of middle-class marriages. (EAP Digest November/December 1991)

    Married women are not the only victims of domestic violence.

    • People who are dating, separated, living together, divorced, have a child in common and/or are married, can be abused. Domestic violence can occur in any of these relationships.