Domestic Violence & Stalking
Domestic Violence
a) Mandatory Arrest
  • ​The law requires a police officer responding to an incident of domestic
    violence to make an arrest if the officer has probable cause to believe
    that a domestic violence assault or other serious domestic violence
  • If the officer determines that family or household members have
    assaulted each other, the officer will arrest the person he or she
    believes to be the primary aggressor. State law also requires
    mandatory arrest for violations of No Contact Orders and Civil
    Protection Orders.
  • A person arrested for a domestic violence offense will usually be held
    in jail until he/she appears before a judge, usually the following
    business day. The Court may require a defendant charged with
    domestic violence to sign a No Contact Order as a condition for
    release from jail prior to trial.
b) Probation Supervision and Counseling
  • ​Defendants who are found guilty or plead guilty to domestic violence offenses are placed on probation as part of their sentence.
  • Most defendants are court ordered to complete a specialized, state certified domestic violence treatment program. Compliance is monitored by the Thurston County Probation Department. Defendants must meet specified exit criteria before being discharged from treatment.
  • Alcohol/chemical dependency counseling and/or parenting classes may also be ordered.
  • Contact information:
    • Thurston County District Court Probation Department
      (360) 786-5452
    • Department of Corrections Headquarters
      (360) 725-8213
    • Friendship Diversion Services
      (360) 357-8021
c) Domestic Violence Victim Advocates
  • ​Advocates are available to assist domestic violence victims during the processing of a domestic violence case through Thurston County Courts. Victim Advocates may contact victims by letter or telephone to offer information about the court process and community resources or to explain the victim’s options. Victim Advocates will explain the
    court process, and can appear with the victim at court proceedings.
  • Domestic Violence Victim Advocates may be reached at (360) 754-2989.
d) Domestic Violence Statistics

e) Children of domestic violence
  • ​Children are always at risk as potential victims of domestic violence to which battered persons are subjected, and many children remain at risk to perpetuate the violence because family violence is repetitious.
  • Some effects on children include:
    • speech problems
    • truancy
    • anxiety and/or depression
    • violence
    • social withdrawal
    • alcohol/drug abuse
    • poor academic performance
    • nervous disorders
    • suicide
  • *Nearly 1/3 of all children who witness battering demonstrate
    significant behavioral and emotional problems.
  • Efforts to protect children from abuse and neglect often overlook one of the most important factors affecting children's safety in the home - adult domestic violence. Child abuse and domestic violence often occur in the same family and are linked in a number of important ways that have serious consequences for the safety of children.
    First, domestic violence often directly results in physical injury and/or psychological harm to children.
    Second, even when domestic violence does not result in direct physical injury to the child, it can interfere with both the mother's and the father's parenting to such a degree that the children may be neglected.
    Third, while an intervention into child abuse may be initially effective, the impact of that intervention will soon be sabotaged if domestic violence is also present, and if the perpetrator is not held accountable for stopping the violence and the adult victim is not protected.
  • Children can be injured as a direct result of domestic violence. Batterers sometimes intentionally injure children in an effort to intimidate and control their adult partners. These assaults can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of the children. Children are also injured - either intentionally or accidentally - during attacks on their mothers. An object thrown or a weapon used against the mother may hit her child. Assaults on younger children may occur while the mother is holding the child. Injuries to older children often occur when an adolescent attempts to intervene in violent episodes.
  • Although many parents believe that they can hide domestic violence from their children, children living in these homes report differently. Research suggests that between 80 and 90 percent of these children are aware of the violence. Even if they do not see a beating, they hear the screams and see the bruises, broken bones, and abrasions sustained by their mothers.
  • Children of all ages are deeply affected by domestic violence. Infants exposed to violence may not develop the attachments to their caretakers, which are critical to their development; in extreme cases they may suffer from "failure to thrive". Preschool children in violent homes may regress developmentally and suffer sleep disturbances, including nightmares. School-age children who witness violence exhibit a range of problem behaviors including depression, anxiety, and violence towards peers. Adolescents who have grown up in violent homes are at risk for recreating the abusive relationships they have seen.
  • There is growing evidence that domestic violence can have lasting negative consequences. As these child-witnesses to domestic violence grow up, they are at greater risk for abusing alcohol or other drugs and for committing violent crimes of all types, eventually getting involved with the criminal justice system.
f) Call Safeplace for more information on services for children of domestic violence
  • ​(360) 754-6300

What can you do about domestic violence if it happens to you?

Take the problem seriously, it will happen again.

Work out a safety plan for you and your children

Create a personalized domestic violence safety plan:

File for a protection order.

Save evidence such as photographs of bruises and other injuries, ripped clothing, etc.

Call the police for help and tell them that you want a report filed. If no arrest is made, you can file charges yourself in a citizen's complaint.

In an emergency, call 911 for the police, get yourself and your children to a safe place, and seek medical attention.

Remember that you are not alone. It is not your fault that your partnet is violent.

What assistance is available for victims of domestic violence?

Safeplace -

Turning Point -

Human Response Network -



g) What is stalking?
  • ​More than seven million women and two million men in this country have been stalked, finds a study from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stalking affects seven percent of women (one in 14 women) and two percent of men (one in 50 men) in the U.S. at some time in their lives. The study was published in the August 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

    "Stalking in the United States, Recent National Prevalence Estimates" defines stalking as "being followed, spied on, or communicated with, without consent at a level perceived to be somewhat dangerous or life threatening." It finds that individuals who are never married, separated, widowed or divorced report significantly higher rates stalking than those who are married or living with a partner. Those 55 and older, or retired, are least likely to have been stalked.

    Results are based on findings from the Injury Control and Risk telephone survey conducted from 2001 to 2003. Nearly 10,000 women and men aged 18 and older participated.
  • Stalking can be any intentional incident of threatening, following, surveillance and/or coercive behavior that occurs more than once.

    According to Washington State Law (RCW 9A.46.110) a person commits the crime of stalking if:
    • He or she intentionally and repeatedly (two or more instances) harasses or follows another person.
    • The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or another person.
    • The stalker either intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or the stalker knows or resonably should know that the peron is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to intimidate, harass, or cause fear.
  • Contrary to popular belief, stalking can affect anyone, not just celebrities. Stalking is a crime that causes constant anxiety and terror to the victim. It disrupts victims' lives by causing fear of every day occurrences; the doorbell, the phone ringing, a piece of mail, etc.