COVID-19 and Domestic Violence

Monday, April 13, 2020

There is help for victims of domestic violence
Photo by Jerry Pickard

By Jamie Holter

COVID-19 and Domestic Violence

Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is more difficult for victims of Domestic Violence.

Victims who stay in the home are more likely to be abused and options for external safety nets like social service organizations, the courts, or even friends and family are limited.

The good news is innovation is coming fast to manage new information that shows a nearly 25 percent increase in 9-1-1 DV calls since the shelter-in-place order first went into effect.

Getting help online and over the phone

This site is a starting point written in clear, specific, non-legal language that explains the types of protection orders available: domestic violence, stalking, anti-harassment, and sexual assault. If you fit the criteria, it walks you through the next steps.

At the top, right corner of every page is a “safety exit” button that allows you to exit the site before an abuser can see your screen. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office maintains this site. This office represents the victim in DV cases.

This site is all about the paperwork and it is free. Filing legal orders can be difficult if you aren’t an attorney and even more difficult if you are managing an urgent situation. This site has step-by-step directions to get your paperwork to the right place. The live chat box asks for your email to ensure you stay in touch.

New Beginnings Help line is open 24/7/365 at 206-522-9472

Crisis Connections

This 24/7/365 hotline connects callers to people who care, listen and provide information. Call 866-4CRISIS or 206-461-3222.


This national site has everything – a 24-hour helpline, a chat window, and detailed descriptions of what abuse looks like during a lockdown and includes issues like destroying medical cards or not letting you see family. 

If you wonder whether what you are experiencing is abuse, read these descriptions. This is the best site to visit if you are feeling confused and alone.

The Legal System Adapts and Innovates

Because Shoreline District Court is closed, King County Superior Court in Seattle is managing protection orders and DV issues online. It’s a new way to address the issue when the court is closed. Most protection orders are going through Legal Atoms (above).

If you are being abused, it is not your fault. Reach out to one of these organizations for help and support.


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