WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

View all
December 3, 2020

What is a sexual assault protection order?

If you have been the victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct or penetration by someone you are/were not in an intimate relationship with and who is not your family or household member, you may be eligible to file for a sexual assault protection order.1  If you were sexually assaulted by a current/former intimate partner or family/household member, then you may qualify for a domestic violence order for protection.  See Domestic Violence Orders for Protection for more information.

A sexual assault protection order is a paper that is signed by a judge and can order the offender to have no contact with you, leave your home, stay away from you or your workplace, and may provide other kinds of protection you may need.2  For a full list of the ways that a sexual assault protection order can help you, go to How can a sexual assault protection order help me? If the offender violates any of the provisions in the order, s/he can face legal consequences.3

You can file for a sexual assault protection order regardless of whether or not there is pending litigation (for example, a lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action) or another protection order between you and the offender.  However, if there is pending litigation or another protection order between you (such as a criminal court order) you do need to let the court know about this.4

1 R.C.W. § 7.90.090(1)(a)
2 R.C.W. § 7.90.090(2)
3 R.C.W. § 26.50.110
4 R.C.W. § 7.90.020(1),(2)