Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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August 10, 2017

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Washington?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a domestic violence order for protection. 

Domestic violence is when one or more of the following things occur between family or household members:

  • physical harm;
  • bodily injury;
  • assault;
  • sexual assault;
  • stalking (as defined in R.C.W. § 9A.46.110); or
  • making you fear immediate physical harm, bodily injury or assault.*

This definition includes many types of abusive behaviors, such as pushing, hitting, slapping, biting, choking, and other conduct that causes you harm or puts you in fear of being hurt.

* R.C.W. § 26.50.010(1)