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Legal Information: Washington

Restraining Orders

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December 3, 2020

Am I eligible to file for an sexual assault protection order?

A sexual assault protection order is only for a victim of sexual assault who does not qualify for a domestic violence order for protection.1  If you qualify for a domestic violence order for protection, then that would be the petition you would file, not a sexual assault protection order petition. See our Am I eligible to file for a domestic violence order for protection? for more information about which order you might qualify for.

To get a sexual assault protection order, you must show that you have been the victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct or penetration. The judge cannot require proof of physical injury or proof that you reported the sexual assault to law enforcement when considering whether to give you the order.2  For the definitions of nonconsensual sexual conduct and sexual penetration, go to: What is the legal definition of sexual assault in Washington?

Note: If the judge believes that you were the victim of sexual assault, the judge cannot deny your petition for a sexual assault protection order even if any of the following are true:

  • you and/or the offender were voluntarily intoxicated (drunk, on drugs, etc.);
  • you engaged in some consensual sexual touching before the sexual assault;3
  • you did not report the assault to law enforcement;
  • you or the offender are minors (under age 18); or
  • you do not have proof of a physical injury.4

These things should not matter to the judge when deciding whether or not to grant you a sexual assault protection order.

1 R.C.W. § 7.90.030(1)(a)
2 R.C.W. § 7.90.090(1)(b)
3 R.C.W. § 7.90.090(4)
4 R.C.W. § 7.90.090(1)(b)