If you have been recently sexually assaulted or raped, this booklet is designed to give you information about your legal rights in Washington State.
This booklet does not contain information for parents about children who have been sexually abused and does not provide information about childhood sexual abuse.
If you have a child or know a child who you believe has been sexually abused, please contact Child Protective Services, at 1-800-562-5624, or your local law enforcement agency.
This booklet is also available in
Spanish and Chinese.
You may download this booklet in PDF
When using the term rape or sexual
assault throughout this booklet we are
generally referring to sexual contact
or sexual intercourse that is NOT
consensual. Consensual generally
means agreeing to, such as giving
permission or indicating “yes.”
This publication provides general legal information. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it provide legal advice. If you need legal advice you should consult an attorney. Laws change both as the result of legislative action and court decisions. The information here is current as of May 2008.
© 2008 BY THE SEXUAL VIOLENCE LAW CENTER (SVLC) AND THE WASHINGTON COALITION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
PROGRAMS (WCSAP).ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE LAW CENTER 810 THIRD AVE, SUITE 500
SEATTLE, WA 98104
T 206-624-0621 F 206-682-2305
WASHINGTON COALITION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAMS 4317 6TH AVE., SE SUITE 102
OLYMPIA, WA 98503
T 360-754-7583 F 360-786-8707 360-709-0305 TTY
In Washington State at least one out of three women will be victims of sexual violence during their lifetime. The trauma of sexual assault can be experienced for many years after the initial assault.
Victims of sexual violence often need support, services and someone they can talk with in private about the assault. There are more than forty sexual assault organizations throughout the State of Washington that have specially trained staff who are ready to provide support and services to victims of sexual violence.
Healing from the impact of rape or sexual assault can be a long process and being involved with the legal system can also be a difficult and frustrating experience. You will need to advocate for yourself and assert your
need support or help in asserting your rights, please contact your local sexual assault program.
This booklet is intended to give you information about your legal rights and to help you understand what you can expect when seeking services or becoming involved in the legal system. It is our hope that this booklet may assist you in making informed decisions in how you choose to respond to your experience of sexual assault.
If you need legal assistance, please contact your local community sexual assault program listed in the back of this booklet.
All Community Sexual Assault Programs (CSAP’s) offer the following services to survivors of sexual violence, their friends and family, and others who request information.
These services are free and confidential.
INFORMATION & REFERRAL: Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day to answer questions and to provide resources and referrals related to sexual abuse/assault.
CRISIS INTERVENTION: Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day to provide an immediately available, personal response to
LEGAL, MEDICAL, AND GENERAL ADVOCACY: Advocates are available to provide legal, medical, and general information about sexual abuse/assault. Advocates are able to help clients identify their options and provide in-person support and advocacy services for clients. Advocates can act on behalf of clients to protect their interests and rights.
SYSTEM COORDINATION: Community Sexual Assault Programs coordinate the network of services that are available to survivors of sexual violence and their friends and family members.
PREVENTION SERVICES: Community Sexual Assault Programs:
• Inform the community about sexual violence and work to increase community awareness and knowledge about sexual abuse/assault.
presentations focused on building skills within the community to prevent sexual abuse/assault.
• Help facilitate the prevention of sexual violence in different communities through education and outreach.
I. IF YOU NEED HELP... 1
II. RIGHT TO A SUPPORT PERSON... 4
III. RIGHT TO EMPLOYMENT LEAVE ... 6
IV. RIGHT TO MOVE OR RELOCATE ... 9
V. RIGHTS AT THE HOSPITAL ... 13
VI. RIGHT TO INTERPRETERS ... 19
VII. COURT ORDERS OF PROTECTION... 20
VIII. IF YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN ... 29
IX. IF YOUR ENGLISH IS LIMITED ... 30
X. IF YOU ARE DISABLED ... 31
XI. IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ... 32
XII. IF YOU CALL THE POLICE ... 34
A. GLOSSARY OF TERMS ... 46
B. SEXUAL ASSAULT STATUTES ... 56
C. STATEWIDE RESOURCES ... 63
If you are in immediate danger, call the police at 9-1-1.
SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Throughout Washington there are community programs that specialize in providing services to victims of rape and sexual assault. These programs are often called community based sexual assault programs, or rape crisis centers.
If you are not in immediate danger and have been raped or sexually assaulted and need to talk with someone, call your local sexual assault program listed by city in the back of this booklet. They can help you.
If and when you call a sexual assault program to talk with someone about what has happened to you, the information you share will be kept
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIALITY. This means that any information you share with a counselor or sexual assault advocate at a community sexual assault program is private and will not be shared with others.
The paperwork that is generated by the sexual assault program about you is also confidential. EXCEPTIONS TO CONFIDENTIALITY
If the counselor believes you are a serious physical danger to yourself or to others, confidential information may be disclosed to protect you or those in danger.
Mandatory Reporting is also an exception to confidentiality. Please see pages 19-21 of this booklet for more information on mandatory
WHAT IS AN ADVOCATE?
When you work with an advocate it is important to know whether or not they are from a community based program or from the prosecutor’s office. If the advocate is with a community based program, then your conversations are private and generally confidential. If the advocate is from the prosecutor’s office, nothing you say to the advocate is private or confidential.
An advocate at a community based sexual assault program is someone trained in the area of sexual assault. They can provide medical and legal advocacy, counseling services and support and resources to assist you. The services they provide are confidential.
prosecutor’s office is to help you through the legal system. However anything you share with them is NOT confidential and will not be kept private. Their role is limited to providing assistance to you if you are a witness/victim in the criminal justice system.
For a list of community based sexual assault programs, please see the APPENDIX, listed in the back of this booklet.
In the State of Washington a victim of rape or sexual assault has the right to a support person.
The support person is someone you choose to be your personal representative. It can be a family member, friend or sexual assault advocate. You do not have to have a support
person - but you do have a right to one.
The right to a support person is important. You do not have to be alone or go through any procedures or process alone in dealing with the sexual assault. There are people trained to provide support and assistance to you. They can help you.
Whether you are receiving medical treatment or attending a proceeding concerning the assault such as interviews with police or court hearings, you have the right to have your support person accompany you.
If you would like to have a sexual assault advocate as your support person, please contact the sexual assault program nearest you listed in the back of this booklet.
If you need to take time off from your job, due to the sexual assault, you may take reasonable leave from work, for specified activities.
ALLOWED SPECIFIED ACTIVITIES
• To seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure your health and safety
• To seek treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries
• To obtain services from a community sexual assault program or other social services program;
• To obtain mental health counseling related to the sexual assault; or
• To participate in safety planning,
temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase your safety as necessary.
The leave you take is with or without pay. You may choose to use sick leave and other paid time off, compensatory time, or unpaid leave time.
You must give your employer advance notice of your intended leave. The timing of the notice must be consistent with the employer's stated policy for requesting such leave, if the employer has a policy. If advance notice cannot be given because of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances, you must give notice no later than the end of the first day that you took leave.
Your employer may require verification that you are a victim of sexual assault and that the leave was taken for one of the above allowable activities. The verification must be provided in a timely manner. If advance notice cannot be
given, verification must be provided to your employer within a reasonable time during or after the leave.
Verification may be satisfied by providing one of the following:
• a police report indicating that you are a victim;
• a court order protecting you from the perpetrator,
• other evidence from the court or
prosecuting attorney that you appeared or are scheduled to appear in court because of the sexual assault;
• documentation from an advocate for victims, an attorney, a clergy member, or a medical or other professional from whom you sought assistance;
You are not required to provide or discuss any information about the sexual assault with your
employer beyond the scope of providing the verification.
When you return from leave, your employer must give you your former position or a position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment. While on leave, your employer must also maintain your health insurance coverage if provided as a benefit generally.
Victims of sexual assault and their household members may end a lease with the landlord by meeting the following three conditions:
1) You must have either: A valid order for protection, an anti-harassment order or criminal no-contact order, or a record of reporting the incident of sexual assault to a “qualified third party.” A “qualified third party” means any of
the following people: law enforcement officers, state court employees, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, licensed mental health professionals or counselors, members of the clergy, or crime victim/witness program advocates.
Although reporting to a qualified third party may help you end your lease, you should know that it does not provide you with the legally enforceable safety provisions that come with an order for protection. See section VII for information regarding orders of protection.
2) The landlord must be notified in writing that you are a victim of sexual assault and a copy of the order for protection or the record of the report to a qualified third party must be included in the written notification.
be moving out within 90 days of the incident of sexual assault, not 90 days from when you reported the incident.
If these three conditions are met, as a victim of sexual assault, you may end your lease and move out without having to pay for the rest of the time on the lease. You are still responsible for rent due for the month in which you leave, even if you leave in the middle of the month. Also, you are still entitled to a refund of the deposit, as long as you have left the residence in the same condition it was in when you moved in.
If you have Section 8 housing, you must send the Public Housing Authority (PHA) written notice that you are exercising your rights to terminate the lease. The PHA should then
issue you a new voucher to search for a new residence. The voucher usually expires after 60 days, but often can be extended.
The policies regarding extensions and maximum search times vary with each PHA, and can be found in the Section 8 Administrative Plan for the particular PHA. In addition, if you need additional time to search for a residence because of a disability (physical or emotional), the PHA has a duty to extend the search period as a “reasonable accommodation.”
If you need assistance or advocacy in terminating your lease, please contact your local sexual assault program listed in the back of this booklet by county. They can help you.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you may choose to go to the hospital for medical care.
YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS:
• Right to a Support Person
You have the right to have a support person with you during the medical examination.
• Right to a Free Medical Examination Exam costs of a sexual assault victim are paid by state when the examination is performed for the purposes of gathering evidence for possible prosecution.
• Right to Emergency Contraception
If you have been sexually assaulted and go to the hospital, you should receive information about emergency contraception. If you want emergency contraception, and it is medically appropriate, the hospital must
You may also go to the hospital to have a rape exam, sometimes referred to as a forensic exam. A rape exam is a forensic medical examination, conducted by a nurse who has been specially trained in sexual assault, where medical evidence is collected to document the assault for possible prosecution.
It is your decision whether or not to agree to a rape exam. If you do not want the rape exam, you can still get medical care from the hospital. In deciding whether or not to seek immediate medical care it is important to understand that if you are interested in having the person who assaulted you arrested and charged with the crime, that you should go to the hospital
immediately after the assault. Time is an important consideration because if too much time passes between the time of the assault
and the time you go to the hospital, there may be little or no physical evidence to show that you have been raped.
If you want the evidence to be collected, you should go to the hospital immediately or at least within seventy-two (72) hours from when the rape occurred. In order to preserve evidence, if you can avoid it, do not drink anything, do not urinate and do not take a shower or attempt to wash yourself before going to the hospital.
If you think you have been drugged and suspect you may have been sexually assaulted while you were drugged or intoxicated, go to the hospital immediately. At the hospital they can conduct tests to determine if drugs are in your system.
or go at a later date and there is no physical evidence to indicate you have been raped, that does not mean the person will not be prosecuted. It also does not mean that you have not been raped.
If you go to the hospital and evidence is collected, remember that it is still the prosecutor’s decision whether or not the person who assaulted you will be charged with a crime.
The forensic examination at the hospital following a rape is a free examination.
However you do not necessarily have the right to free medical treatment. This depends on your income and will be determined between you and the hospital.
Money to help pay your hospital bill may be available through Crime Victim’s Compensation
(CVC). Crime Victims Compensation is a state fund that helps crime victims cover costs such as medical bills or counseling services. Crime Victims Compensation has specific and time sensitive application requirements and is only available after you have exhausted all other means of health insurance coverage.
For more information, please call CVC at 1-800-762-3716.
The law requires every hospital emergency room, regardless of religious affiliation, give sexual assault victims who come to the ER for treatment truthful information about emergency birth control (also known as the morning-after pill) and give them the pills if they request them, free of charge.
WHAT IS EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION?
morning-after pill” or by its brand name, Plan B. Emergency contraception contains the same hormones used in regular birth control pills and, for more than thirty years, has been used to prevent pregnancy within a short time after intercourse. It can prevent pregnancy if given within 72 (and possibly up to 120) hours after unprotected sexual intercourse. The closer in time to the act of unprotected sex, the more likely the medication will work to prevent a pregnancy.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Emergency contraception can act after the fact to prevent a pregnancy, so it can help a woman avoid the additional trauma of fearing a pregnancy resulting from a rape. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that treatment with
emergency contraception should be standard medical care for victims of rape.
INNTTEERRPPRREETTEERRSS IF YOU DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH
A victim of sexual assault who does not speak English and is involved in a legal proceeding has the right to an interpreter in his or her primary language.
IF YOU ARE HEARING IMPAIRED
A victim or witness of sexual assault who is hearing impaired and is involved in a legal proceeding has a right to an interpreter paid for by the court.
If you are involved in criminal investigation as a victim or witness, you also are entitled to have a qualified interpreter present. If you need assistance in asserting your right to have an
interpreter present, please contact your local sexual assault program.
PRROOTTEECCTTIIOON N SEXUAL ASSAULT PROTECTION ORDERS
A sexual assault protection order (SAPO) is a court order that orders the offender to stay away from you and the places you request in the order, such as your workplace, school, place of worship or home. It also tells the offender to have no contact with you at all.
To get a SAPO, you must be a victim of sexual assault and NOT in a family or “domestic” relationship with the offender. For example, if the offender is either related to you; is or was married to you; has been or is in a dating relationship with you; or you have a child together, you cannot get a SAPO. (However you may be able to get domestic violence
protection order, see below).
If you have experienced sexual contact or sexual intercourse that you did not agree to or give permission by saying “yes”, then you may be a victim of sexual assault under the law. You are NOT required to have reported the sexual assault to the police. If you are sixteen or older, you can seek a SAPO without involving your parent or guardian. If you have reported the sexual assault to law enforcement, you may be able to get a SAPO from the prosecutor’s office or judge if there is a criminal case on-going.
If you are not a victim in a criminal case, you can ask the civil court directly for a sexual assault protection order. Your ability to file a petition in civil court for a SAPO is not related to whether there is a criminal case against the
For a detailed explanation of the law and process for obtaining a SAPO, please see the Sexual Violence Law Center’s publication,
Understanding the Sexual Assault Protection Order.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION ORDERS
A protection order is a civil order issued by the court that tells the person who has harmed you to stay away from you, your children, and the places you live or work. Generally if the person does not obey the order, they can be arrested. To get an order you must file paperwork with the court and have a hearing where the person who has assaulted you will have an opportunity to respond to your legal request for a protective order. If you are sixteen or older you can seek a protection order without involving your parent or guardian.
To get a protection order, you must have a domestic relationship with the person who assaulted you. That means you must be a family or household member which includes a person to whom you are married or formerly married, or live with or formerly lived with, have children with, or are related by blood or marriage or that you dated or formerly dated. If you do not meet these relationship require-ments, then you are not eligible for a domestic violence protection order.
An anti-harassment order is a civil protection order that prohibits unlawful harassment. This type of protective order is often sought by victims of sexual assault who do not meet the relationship requirement under a domestic violence protection order.
To get an anti-harassment order you must be able to show that the person who assaulted you has engaged in unlawful harassment. “Unlawful harassment” means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at you which seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to you, and which also serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. “Course of conduct” means a series of acts over a period of time, however short, all with a similar purpose.
Sometimes it is difficult to show that there is a pattern if there was only one incident of sexual assault. However, you may still be eligible for such an order.
“For further information about civil orders of protection, such as sexual assault, domestic violence or anti-harassment orders, contact your local community sexual assault program,
and/or the Sexual Violence Law Center, the Northwest Women’s Law Center or the CLEAR line. Resource numbers are listed at the back of this booklet.”
VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION ORDER
A civil protection order brought on behalf of a vulnerable adult.
WHO IS A VULNERABLE ADULT?
Under the law, a vulnerable adult is generally someone over the age of sixty who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself; or is found incapacitated or who has a developmental disability or is admitted to any facility; or is receiving services from home health, hospice, or home care agencies or is receiving services from an individual provider.
sexually assaulted, you may get this type of order. Also, the Dept. of Social and Health Services may seek an order for you with your consent.
CRIMINAL NO-CONTACT ORDER
This type of order is issued by a judge in a criminal domestic violence case. It is not something you have to petition the court for and file paperwork with the court in order to obtain.
However these orders are limited to criminal domestic violence cases. A no-contact order generally tells the perpetrator of domestic violence to stay away from you when they are released from custody before arraignment or trial on bail or personal recognizance.
A no-contact order may be put into place at any time during the court proceedings. No-contact
orders end when the criminal case ends (e.g. when charges are dropped, after a “not guilty verdict,” or when jurisdiction ends).
The definition of domestic violence is limited to a family or household member. "Family or household members" means spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal
parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and
grandchildren. Thus if you are a victim of sexual assault and your relationship to the perpetrator does not meet the definition of family or household member you are not eligible for this type of order.
If however, your case is criminally prosecuted, and the perpetrator is convicted of a sex offense, you could ask the judge in your victim impact statement to include a no-contact provision so that the perpetrator, once released from custody, is prohibited from having any contact with you. Make sure you tell the prosecutor you would like this type of no contact provision included in the sentencing recommendations.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and you call the police because you have been sexually assaulted or raped, your immigration status should not matter when reporting the crime to the police. If the police ask you your immigration status you do not have to answer them. It is not the duty of the police to enforce immigration law. Your immigration status is not legally relevant when you are a victim of a crime.
If the police insist on asking about your immigration status, you could ask to speak with a lawyer before answering any questions.
For legal questions about immigration, contact the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project 1-800-445-5771.
If you are a sexual assault victim with limited English proficiency, you may be entitled to free language assistance.
WHO IS A LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT (LEP) INDIVIDUAL?
If English is not your primary language and you have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English, you are limited English proficient, or "LEP."
It is against the law for police, hospitals, sexual assault programs and other agencies to discriminate against you because you have a limited ability to speak, read, write or understand English.
If you are an LEP victim of sexual assault and are trying to access services, you may have a right to language assistance. If you need
assistance in advocating for your rights as an LEP, please contact your local sexual assault program listed at the back of this booklet.
Also this booklet is available in Spanish and Chinese.
If you are disabled and want to report a sexual assault to the police or go to court to testify, you are entitled to reasonable
“Reasonable accommodations” means that places of public accommodation, such as court houses and police stations, cannot discriminate against you and must take reasonable action to make their services accessible.
8If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and are under the age of 18, different laws apply to you. Under the law you are considered a minor.
Certain people, such as doctors, are required to report the abuse you experienced to the police and/or Child Protective Services (CPS) or both. This is called mandated reporting. MANDATED REPORTING
Mandated reporters are people like teachers, health care providers, counselors, nurses, child care providers, police officers and advocates. They are required by law to report the abuse you tell them about to Child Protective Services.
Once CPS receives a report, they may investigate and/or take action. For more
information about Child Protective Services contact DSHS Constituent Services at 1-800-737-0617.
If you are under 18 and call a counselor or help line or crisis line, and tell the person on the phone that you have been sexually assaulted, they have to report the assault to CPS. Advocates at community sexual assault programs are mandated reporters.
However, you have the choice not to reveal any information that will identify you. If you call anonymously (without providing your name or any other information that can identify you) mandated reporters have no identifying information to report.
WHAT IS THE AGE OF CONSENT?
the age of 16, the law assumes you are not old enough to give consent.
• Right to Medical Examination without parental notification
The age of consent in the State of Washington for a person to be medically examined without parental consent or notification is 13.
If you are thirteen years or older, and have been sexually assaulted, you may request and receive a medical examination without the consent of your parent. You also do not have to pay for the examination.
Parental consent for a medical exam is usually required if you are under the age of thirteen.
If you call the police because you have been sexually assaulted, it is likely a police report will
be made. When a report is made, ask for the report number and the name of the person who took the report. Write it down and keep this information in a secure place.
When the police respond to your call, you have the right to receive from the police a written statement of the rights of crime victims and resources of local victim/witness programs. The police and/or prosecuting attorney may not ask or require that you take a polygraph exam as a condition of moving forward with your case.
If you delay in reporting the assault to the police, you still have the right to file a police report at ANY TIME.
If you are discouraged by law enforcement from filing a report, you still have the right to file a police report. There is no statute of
limitations on filing a police report. The reason law enforcement may discourage you, particularly if significant time has passed, is because it is unlikely the case will get prosecuted. However, making the report may be very important to you so don’t be discouraged, it is your right to report criminal activity to law enforcement.
Sometimes the police may ask you if you would like to prosecute the person who assaulted you. It is important to understand that it is not your decision whether or not the person who assaulted you will be prosecuted. Generally that decision is made by the prosecuting attorney in the county where the assault occurred. When the police ask you that question it is generally a question about whether or not you would cooperate with the prosecutor if the perpetrator does get
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and the person responsible for harming you is being charged with a crime and prosecuted in court, you are considered a crime victim – regardless of the outcome of the case.
As a crime victim you are entitled to certain rights. The criminal justice system is the process used to prosecute the person who harmed you. Sometimes the person will be referred to as the defendant, the perpetrator, the offender or the respondent. These are all legal terms for the same person.
As a crime victim you may also be eligible for certain programs that can provide assistance to you. For example, Crime Victim Compensation is a program that may assist you in paying your medical bills related to the assault. The
Address Confidentiality Program is also a program that may assist you in keeping your address confidential. For more information about these programs, please contact your local sexual assault program.
In Washington, the act of rape or sexual assault is a crime. This means that the State of Washington can prosecute people for committing those crimes.
Each county in Washington has prosecuting attorneys who are responsible for prosecuting those individuals who commit crimes. The prosecutor is the person who may bring charges against the person who harmed you. If so, the state is prosecuting the person who hurt you on behalf of the State of Washington, not on your individual behalf.
It is important to understand that the prosecutor is acting on behalf of the state of Washington.
The prosecutor is not your advocate and is limited in his or her ability to assert your interests and protect your privacy.
You have the right to have a support person with you throughout the entire criminal court process.
CRIME VICTIM’S RIGHTS
As a crime victim, survivor of a crime victim, or witness of a crime, Washington State Law provides that reasonable efforts be made to ensure for the following rights:
A victim of a felony or gross misdemeanor crime shall have the following rights:
RIGHT TO BE INFORMED
You have the right to be informed of the outcome of the case, also known as the final disposition.
in the court dates to which you have been subpoenaed to attend.
RIGHT TO BE HEARD
You have the right to address the court whenever the defendant is being considered for release. This could apply to bail hearings, speedy trial rule violations and at sentencing hearings.
You have the right to attend the court hearing and make a statement to the court.
RIGHT TO SUBMIT A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT At the sentencing hearing you have the right to submit a victim impact statement to the court, which must be included
in the pre-sentence report and made a part of the offender’s file.
statement that tells the court how the crime has affected you and what you would like to see happen to the defendant. The judge may consider your recommendations when determining the perpetrator’s punishment.
RIGHT TO ATTEND ALL COURT PROCEEDINGS THE DEFENDANT ATTENDS
You have the right to attend trial and all other court proceedings the defendant has the right to attend. However, a judge can decide not to allow you to attend every proceeding.
You also have the right as a victim or survivor of a victim to be present in court during trial if your testimony has already been given and no further testimony from you is required.
RIGHT TO PROTECTION AS A VICTIM
You have the right to receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of
cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution and to be informed of the level of protection available.
This means that if you are being threatened by the defendant or someone acting under the direction of the defendant (i.e. brother, friend, etc.) that law enforcement will investigate and should take steps to limit the threats.
RIGHT TO WITNESS FEES
You have the right to receive any witness fees to which you are entitled. For example you may be entitled to have mileage or parking costs reimbursed when going to court and participating as a witness.
RIGHT TO A SAFE WAITING AREA
You have the right to have, whenever practical, a safe waiting area provided for you during court proceedings.
RIGHT TO HAVE PROPERTY RETURNED
You have the right to have any stolen or other personal property returned as soon as possible after completion of the case. For example, if your clothes, purse or other personal items were taken as evidence, these should be returned to you when the case is completed. RIGHT TO HAVE YOUR EMPLOYER CONTACTED You may request that the prosecuting attorney contact your employer to minimize any problems related to your absence at work when you are required to appear in court. If your employer takes negative action against you because of these court appearances, you can contact the Northwest Women’s Law Center at 206-621-7691 for legal information.
RIGHT TO RESTITUTION
You have the right to restitution when there is a felony conviction, unless the court determines it
to be inappropriate. “Restitution” means money the perpetrator may be ordered to pay to cover the costs of specific expenses you have incurred as a victim of crime. Restitution is usually limited to property damages. The victim advocate from the prosecutor’s office can help you with any questions you may have about restitution as a crime victim.
RIGHT TO NOTIFICATION OF HIV STATUS OF OFFENDER
If the person who sexually assaulted you was convicted of assaulting you, you have the right to know their HIV status.
If you are under 14, your parents or guardian has the right to that information on your behalf. If you would like to know the HIV status of the perpetrator, you need to tell the prosecuting attorney as soon as possible, so the prosecutor
can request that as a condition of the perpetrator’s sentence, an HIV test is conducted and the results are given to you. Then you need to contact the health department in the jurisdiction where the perpetrator was ordered to take the HIV test. They will then provide you with the information.
Acquittal - When a jury or court finds the defendant “not guilty,” the defendant is “acquitted.”
Advocate - Usually someone trained in sexual assault and legal issues who offers support and assistance to sexual assault survivors. An advocate may work for the prosecutor or at a community based agency.
Affidavit - A sworn statement of the facts as you know them to be.
Anonymous –Not named or identified.
Anti-Harassment Order - An order issued by the court that orders a person to stop doing certain things that “harass” another person.
Attorney –A lawyer.
Authorization - Permission.
Bailiff - A court employee who maintains order in the courtroom.
Bail - The property or money given in
assurance that the defendant will appear in court.
Bond - The money paid to a bond company so that they will pay the bail for a person. The bond price is usually 10% of the bail amount. Charge/ Charged - When the prosecuting attorney formally accuses someone of having committed a criminal offense, that person is “charged” with a crime.
Clerk (of the Court) - A court official who handles clerical matters like keeping records, filing documents and providing certified copies. Commissioner (of the Court) – A type of judge who makes decisions relating to a particular subject matter.
Confidential – Private or secret.
Consent – When you give permission or agree to something.
Contraception – Birth control.
Conviction - To prove or find someone guilty of a crime.
Court – The official place and process for the administration of justice.
Defendant - The person against whom a charge or claim is brought in court.
Defense Attorney - The lawyer for the defendant.
Discovery - The process by which the attorneys in the case share relevant information.
Disclosed/disclosure –When information is released or shared, it is “disclosed.”
Dismissal -An order by the court that means the case is over.
Disposition - The result or final outcome of a case.
Emancipation - When a teenager becomes legally competent to be their own guardian and is no longer subject to parental control.
Forensic Exam – A physical examination of the body that is designed to collect evidence to show that a crime was perpetrated upon that person.
Guilty - When the defendant is determined to have committed the crime; he or she is “guilty.” Hearing -A court proceeding where a judge considers requests for either party in a case. Judge - An elected or appointed public official with the authority to hear and decide cases in court.
Judgment - The decision of a judge.
Jury – Usually a group of 12 people from the community randomly selected to consider evidence and decide the outcome of a criminal case.
Minor –Generally someone under the age of 18.
Motion - A request made to the court asking the judge to do something. A motion is usually heard at a hearing.
Offender - A person who has committed a crime.
Oath - A pledge before testifying, every witness must take an oath that he or she will tell the truth.
Perpetrator –Also may be referred to as the offender, the defendant or the accused. It generally means the person who assaulted you.
Plaintiff/Petitioner - Usually used in a civil legal proceeding, referring to the person who brought the civil action.
Police Report - Report made by the police containing the initial statement made by the victim at the time she or he reported the crime. Pre-sentence Report - A report to the sentencing judge containing background information about the crime and the defendant to assist the judge in making a sentencing decision.
Proceeding – The court processes in which a case moves through the legal system
Prosecute/Prosecution - When the state
brings charges against someone for committing a crime, that person is being “prosecuted.” Prosecutor/Prosecuting Attorney - The lawyer for the state who is responsible for prosecuting people who commit crimes.
Protection Order - An order issued by a court commissioner or judge that specifically forbids the perpetrator from having contact with you. Rape - When someone (it can be more than one person) forces you, and/or threatens you, and/or tricks you into having sexual intercourse that you do not want.
RCW - Revised Code of Washington - The statutory laws of the state of Washington.
Respondent - The person who needs to “respond” to a civil legal proceeding.
Sentencing/Sentencing Hearing - A hearing where the judge decides the punishment for a guilty offender.
Sexual Assault – When someone (it can be more than one person) forces you, and/or threatens you, and/or tricks you into having any kind of sexual contact that you do not want.
Statute of Limitations – The time limit assigned in which crimes must be charged, or lawsuits must be filed in order for them to be valid claims.
Subpoena – A piece of paper issued by a court that instructs you to do something specific, like appear in court, or provide certain documents to the other party in a legal proceeding
Testify - To make statements under oath. Trial - The court proceeding in which the guilt or innocence of the accused person is decided by the judge or a jury.
judge and/or jury what happened to you, you are giving “testimony.”
Victim – When you have been hurt by
someone, the court refers to you as a victim, meaning a victim of a crime.
Victim Impact Statement - A statement made to the court by the victim or a victim representative that tells the judge how the victims or victim’s family has been affected by the crime.
Victim/Witness –A term that refers to a
person who is both a victim of a crime and also the witness to that same crime.
Witness - One who sees an act performed. One who gives evidence in a case. You can be a victim and a witness to a crime.
• Sex Offenses – RCW 9A.44
• Child Molestation, RCW 9A.44.083 (first degree); RCW 9A.44.086 (second
degree) and RCW 9A.44.089 (third degree)
• Communications with a Minor for Immoral Purposes – RCW 9.68A.090
• Custodial Sexual Misconduct, RCW 9A.44.160 (first degree) and RCW 9A.44.170 (second degree)
• Harassment – RCW 10.14
• Indecent Exposure - RCW 9A.88.010
• Indecent Liberties - RCW 9A.44.100
• Rape of a Child – RCW 9A.44.073 (first degree), RCW 9A.44.076 (second degree) and RCW 9A.44.079 (third
• Rape – RCW 9A.44.040 (first degree), RCW 9A.44.050 (second degree) and RCW 9A.44.060 (third degree)
• Sexual Exploitation of Children – RCW 9.68
• Sexual Misconduct with a Minor – RCW 9A.44.093 (first degree) and RCW
9A.44.096 (second degree)
• Stalking – RCW 9A.46.110
• Unlawful Imprisonment – RCW 9A.40.040
• Voyeurism – RCW 9A.44.115
• Crime Victims Rights– RCW 7.69.030
• Child Crime Victim Rights – RCW 7A.69.030
• Crime Victims Compensation – RCW 7.68, WAC 296-20-220
• Sexual Assault Protection Order – RCW 7.90
• Domestic Violence Protection Order – RCW 26.50
• Evidence Rules in Protection Order hearings – Evidence Rule 1101
• Anti-harassment Orders – RCW 10.14
• Vulnerable Adult Protection Order – RCW 74.34.110
• Criminal No-Contact Orders – RCW 10.99
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY
• Sexual Assault Advocate Privilege – RCW 5.60.060(7)
• Domestic Violence Advocate Privilege – RCW 5.60.060(8)
Records – RCW 70.125.065
• Client Records of Domestic Violence Programs – RCW 70.123.075
• Mental Health Therapist and Client Privilege – RCW 18.22.105
• Washington State Criminal Records Privacy Act – RCW 10.97
• Medical Records, Health Care
Information Access & Disclosure – RCW 70.02
• Sealing of Court Records – Wash. Court Rule GR 15
• Public Disclosure Act – Information held confidential RCW 50.13.015
• Address Confidentiality – RCW 40.24
• Child victims of sexual assault, confidential – RCW 10.97.130
• Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – 20 U.S.C. §1232g (2001)
• Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) – 45 C.F.R. Parts 160 and 164
OTHER CIVIL LEGAL NEEDS
• Right to Support Person – RCW 70.125.060
• Housing: Right to Terminate Tenancy or Lease – RCW 59.18.575
• Interpreters: Right to, Deaf and Hard of Hearing – RCW 2.42, Non-English Speaking – RCW 2.43
• Employment: Washington Law Against Discrimination – RCW 49.60
• Employment: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq.
• Employment: Family and Medial Leave Act (FMLA) – 29 U.S.C. §2612
Leave Act – RCW 49.78
• Education: Title IX of the Civil Rights Act – 20 U.S.C. §1681
• Education: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - 20 U.S.C. §1232g (2001)
• Washington Unemployment Compensation – RCW 50.20
• American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) – 42 U.S.C. §12102; 24 C.F.R. §825.114
• Immigration: Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 – 22 U.S.C. §78 (2002)
• Abuse of Children, Reports – RCW 26.44.030
• Civil Cases - Evidence Rule 412
• Criminal Cases – RCW 9A.44.020 OTHER
• Victims of Sexual Assault Act – RCW 70.125
• Investigation of Child Sexual Abuse, Protocols – RCW 26.44.180
REESSOOUURRCCEESS SEXUAL VIOLENCE LAW CENTER Provides legal information and referrals to sexual assault survivors, and advocates and attorneys working with sexual assault survivors. T 1-206-624-0621 F 206-682-2305
COORDINATED LEGAL EDUCATION, ADVICE & REFERRAL
Provides legal advice and referral for low-income callers.
CLEAR 1-888-201-1014, 9:30-12:30, M-F CLEAR SR. (60 AND OVER) 1-888-387-7111 TTY 1-888-201-9737
NORTHWEST WOMEN’S LAW CENTER Provides legal information and referral regardless of income.
LEGAL INFORMATION & REFERRAL 1- 206- 621-7691 / ( 866 ) 259-7720 TTY ( 206 ) 521-4317
ADMINISTRATION ( 206 ) 682-9552
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Provides assistance with immigration matters. 1-800-445-5771
Disability Rights Washington
For information and assistance for people with disabilities.
1-800-562-2702 TTY 1-800-905-0209
Address Confidentiality Program
For an application to get a confidential address in Washington State.
WA Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Statewide membership agency that unites and supports sexual assault programs in WA. 1-360-754-7583
WA Courts – Forms & Instructions
Accessible court forms and instructions on how to complete forms. Available in many different languages such as Cambodian, Korean,
Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
Domestic Violence Hotline
Provides help and support to victims of domestic violence.
Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) OCVA serves as a voice within government for the needs of crime victims in Washington State. 1-800-822-1067
TTY (360) 664-2038
CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION
For an application to apply for money to help pay for you expenses associated with the crime.
Address Confidentiality Program
For an application to get a confidential address in Washington State.
WA State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
WA PROTECTION & ADVOCACY SYSTEM For information and assistance for people with disabilities.
ABERDEEN BEYOND SURVIVAL PO Box 203
Aberdeen, WA 98520 Phone: 360-533-9751 Hotline: 888-626-2640 BELLEVUE
CHILDREN'S RESPONSE CENTER 1120 112th Ave NE #130 Bellevue, WA 98004 Phone: 425-688-5130 Hotline: 425-688-5130 TTY: 425-454-1589
DV/SA SERVICES OF WHATCOM COUNTY 1407 Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98225 Phone: 360-671-5714 Hotline: 877-715-1563
WASHINGTON GORGE ACTION PROGRAMS – PROGRAMS FOR PEACEFUL LIVING
1250 E Steuben St Bingen, WA 98605 Phone: 509-493-1533 Hotline: 800-352-5541
ST. JAMES FAMILY CENTER/THE CHARLOTTE HOUSE
PO Box 642
Cathlamet, WA 98612 Phone: 360-795-6401 Hotline: 360-795-6400
HUMAN RESPONSE NETWORK PO Box 337
Chehalis, WA 98532 Phone: 360-748-6601 Hotline: 800-244-7414
QUALITY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH 900 7th Street
Clarkston, WA 99403 Phone: 509-758-3341 Hotline: 800-932-0932
FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER 956 S Main St
Colville, WA 99114 Phone: 509-684-3796 Hotline: 509-684-6139
FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER OF LINCOLN COUNTY PO Box 1130
Davenport, WA 99122 Phone: 509-725-4358 Hotline: 800-932-0932
DV/SA SERVICES OF THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS PO Box 1516
Eastsound, WA 98245 Phone: 360-376-5979
Hotline: 360-378-2345 (San Juan) Hotline: 360-376-1234 (Orcas) Hotline: 360-468-4567 (Lopez)
ABUSE SUPPORT AND PREVENTION EDUCATION NOW (ASPEN)
220 W 4th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926 Phone: 509-925-9384 Hotline: 866-925-9384
PROVIDENCE INTERVENTION CENTER FOR ASSAULT AND ABUSE
2722 Colby Ave #200 Everett, WA 98201 Phone: 425-388-7408 Hotline: 425-252-4800
FORKS ABUSE PROGRAM PO Box 1775
Forks, WA 98331 Phone: 360-374-6411 Hotline: 360-374-2273 KELSO
EMERGENCY SUPPORT SHELTER PO Box 877
Kelso, WA 98626 Phone: 360-425-1176 Hotline: 360-636-8471
SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE CENTER 830 North Columbia Center Blvd #H Kennewick, WA 99336
Phone: 509-374-5391 Hotline: 509-374-5391
NEW HOPE DV/SA SERVICES 1065 W Broadway
Moses Lake, WA 98837 Phone: 509-764-8402 Hotline: 888-560-6027
SKAGIT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES
PO Box 301
Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-336-9591 Hotline: 800-726-6010
PEND OREILLE CRIME VICTIM SERVICES PO Box 944
Newport, WA 99156 Phone: 509-447-2274 Hotline: 509-447-5483
CITIZENS AGAINST DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL ABUSE PO Box 190
Oak Harbor, WA 98277 Phone: 360-675-7057 Hotline: 800-215-5669
314 Legion Way SE Olympia, WA 98501 Phone: 360-786-8754 Hotline: 360-754-6300 TTY: 360-943-6703
THE SUPPORT CENTER PO Box 3639
Omak, WA 98841 Phone: 509-826-3221 Hotline: 888-826-3221
HEALTHY FAMILIES OF CLALLAM COUNTY 1210 East Front Street, Suite #C
Port Angeles, WA 98362 Phone: 360-452-3811 Hotline: 360-452-4357
KITSAP SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTER PO Box 1936
Port Orchard, WA 98366 Phone: 360-479-1788 Hotline: 360-479-8500 PORT TOWNSEND
DV/SA PROGRAM OF JEFFERSON COUNTY PO Box 743
Port Townsend, WA 98368 Phone: 360-385-5291
ALTERNATIVES TO VIOLENCE OF THE PALOUSE PO Box 37
Pullman, WA 99163 Phone: 509-332-0552 Hotline: 509-332-4357
REPUBLIC CONNECTIONS PO Box 1120
Republic, WA 99166 Phone: 509-775-3331 Hotline: 509-775-3132
CRISIS SUPPORT NETWORK PO Box 311
Raymond, WA 98577 Phone: 360-875-6702 Hotline: 800-435-7276
KING COUNTY SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCE CENTER
PO Box 300
Renton, WA 98057 Phone: 425-226-5062 Hotline: 888-99voice
ABUSED DEAF WOMEN'S ADVOCACY SERVICES 8623 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 206-726-0093 (TTY) TTY Hotline: 206-236-3134
HARBORVIEW CENTER FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT & TRAUMATIC STRESS
325 9th Ave MS359947 Seattle, WA 98104 Phone: 206-521-1800 Hotline: 206-521-1800 TTY: 206-521-1808
CENTER FOR ADVOCACY & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
PO Box E
Shelton, WA 98584 Phone: 360-426-6925 Hotline: 360-490-5228 TTY: 800-621-0394 SHELTON
SOUTH PUGET INTERTRIBAL PLANNING AGENCY 3104 SE Old Olympic Hwy
Shelton, WA 98584 Phone: 360-426-3990 Hotline: 360-490-5713
SEXUAL ASSAULT & FAMILY TRAUMA (SAFET) RESPONSE CENTER
210 W Sprague Ave Spokane, WA 99201 Phone: 509-747-8224 Hotline: 509-624-7273
SKAMANIA COUNTY COUNCIL ON DV & SA PO Box 477
Stevenson, WA 98648 Phone: 509-427-4210 Hotline: 877-427-4210 SUNNYSIDE
LOWER VALLEY CRISIS & SUPPORT CENTER PO Box 93
Sunnyside, WA 98944 Phone: 509-837-6689 Hotline: 509-837-6689
SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTER OF PIERCE COUNTY 633 N Mildred St #J
Tacoma, WA 98406 Phone: 253-597-6424 Hotline: 253-474-7273 TTY: 253-274-0448
YWCA OF CLARK COUNTY - SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAM
3609 Main St
Vancouver, WA 98663 Phone: 360-696-0167 Hotline: 360-695-0501 TTY: 360-696-0167
YWCA OF WALLA WALLA 213 S 1st Ave
Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: 509-525-2570 Hotline: 509-529-9922
DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE CRISIS CENTER OF CHELAN & DOUGLAS COUNTIES
PO Box 2704
Wenatchee, WA 98807 Phone: 509-663-7446 Hotline: 509-663-7446
YAKIMA SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAM PO Box 959
Yakima, WA 98907 Phone: 509-576-4326 Hotline: 509-452-9675
If you need further assistance finding your local rape crisis center, please contact the WASHINGTON COALITION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAMS AT 1.360.754.7583 or visit