King County Protection Order Advocacy Program is a Great Resource
As sexual abuse attorneys, we routinely speak with individuals who have suffered devastating trauma. Oftentimes the assault(s) occurred months or years in the past. Sometimes, however, we speak with individuals who are presently at risk. Before pursuing a civil lawsuit against any wrongdoers, it is critical that the individual take steps to protect him or herself from harm. In addition to reporting criminal acts to law enforcement, a key step may include securing a protection order from the court. If the protection order would violate a parenting plan, then the individual, perhaps a parent on behalf of a child in danger, must ultimately seek modification of the parenting plan in family court; however, the individual can still obtain a temporary protection order good for 14 days while the petition to modify is pending.
For residents of King County, the King County Protection Order Advocacy Program is an excellent resource for hands on assistance and guidance with protection orders. The program is housed within the Domestic Violence Unit of the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Information can be found online at protectionorder.org. The majority of individuals who pursue protection orders do so without an attorney. The Protection Order Advocacy Program can advise individuals on whether a protection order makes sense, as well as help prepare and file the necessary paperwork. I’ve also seen these great advocates stand by the petitioner’s side during oral argument before the court (although they do not legally represent the individual or address the court).