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Resources for Domestic Violence Victims during the COVID-19 Health Crisis

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims during the COVID-19 Health Crisis

As the nation continues to cope with the spread of COVID-19, Oregon and Washington residents are still being asked to stay home. For victims and survivors of domestic violence, and those children exposed to it, staying home may not be a safe option. Furthermore, the unprecedented stress of the pandemic could create unsafe situations in homes where violence may not have been an issue before. If you’re a victim, or know someone who is, help is available.

Gevurtz Menashe is Providing Complimentary Family Law Consultations to Victims of Domestic Violence during the COVID-19 Outbreak


As reported in the New York Times, “Domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together, such as the Christmas and summer vacations. At times of increased stress at home, coupled with a lack of social support and the inability to increase physical distance at home during conflicts, incidents of sexual and domestic violence and child abuse increase significantly.

Social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders make it difficult for domestic violence victims to seek support. Although things change daily, courthouses in both Oregon and Washington will generally still resolve emergency matters, including providing domestic violence victims access to protective orders. 

Protective order forms for many countries are also available online, including: 


•    Multnomah County 
•    Washington County
•    Clackamas County
•    Clark County

The Protection Order Process

Oregon:

In Oregon, you can obtain a restraining order through the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA).  If you are just starting the process you will need to complete the proper paperwork at the courthouse in the county where you live. While Oregon courts are still hearing restraining orders matters, it is still important to check with the court where you live to confirm the process.

WASHINGTON:

In Washington, there are different ways to get protection depending on the circumstances in your case and your relationship with the opposing party. Whether you are seeking an Immediate Restraining Order or a Protection Order, you will need to complete all the applicable forms, demonstrating the need for protection. 

For both states, you must go to all the scheduled hearings or your case may be dismissed.  If you cannot go to a hearing due to an emergency, or need accommodations, it is important that you call the court right away.  You may be able to appear by phone or video in some courts.  Having a lawyer help you through the process may be helpful, but it is not required. 

If you are worried about your safety at the hearing or during your time in the courthouse, you can ask for a sheriff’s deputy to be present in the courtroom, just call the court before the hearing.  

All of the forms needed to request a restraining order or renew a restraining order are available online or at your local county court. Remember it is best that you carry a copy of the restraining order with you at all times. 

WE CAN HELP

If you are or someone you know is in life threatening danger, CALL 911. 


The family law attorneys at Gevurtz Menashe have helped hundreds of victims of domestic violence obtain restraining and protection orders is both Oregon and Washington. If you are experiencing abuse and need assistance filing for a restraining order or protection order, please call our family law attorneys at 503-227-1515 or contact us online.  We can schedule a call remotely via our virtual attorney services, at a time that is safe for you. 

We are also able to meet with you via a video conference to discuss the facts of your case, as we normally would in person. During this time, we will do our best to provide: 

•    General guidance of the court process;
•    Assistance with navigating forms;
•    Answering specific questions; and
•    Connect you with additional resources in the community, if needed.

Other Community Resources: 

NATIONAL:

•    If you are experiencing domestic violence or abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you can't talk on the phone safely, log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. 
•    National Sex Assault Hotline
•    National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

•    The National Domestic Violence Hotline also has a guide for survivors on staying safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.


OREGON:

•    Oregon Dept of Justice Crime Victim Assistance Programs
•    Oregon Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA) Restraining Order Process
•    Oregon Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA) Hearing Checklist
•    Oregon Department of Health Services 
•    Oregon Department of Justice Child Support Assistance 
•    List of domestic violence shelters in Oregon


WASHINGTON:

•    Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
•    SafeChoice Domestic Violence Program – YWCA Clark County
•    Clark County Sheriff 
•    National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation Clark County Crisis Hotline (24 hours) 800-626-8137
•    Parent Trust of Washington (support group) 360-687-7126
•    Sexual Assault Hotline (24 hours) 360-695-0501
•    Child Protective Services: 866-764-2233
•    Danger/lethality assessment: www.dangerassessment.org
•    Washington State domestic violence hotline : 800-562-6025
•    Vinelink (notification for prisoners being released from jail and prison) www. Vinelink.com, 877-846-3492

*This is general information only and not meant to provide specific legal advice. *

Authored by family law attorneys, Erica Aquadro and Emily Roberts. Erica and Emily are  members of  both the Oregon & Washington State Bar(s) and focus their practice exclusively on family law issues such as divorce, parenting and custody issues, child and spousal support.