Winning court-ordered protection from domestic violence in Washington State is a major challenge, especially for low-income people, grantee finds

Domestic violence often leads to homelessness, especially when the accused abuser controls the money. Compounding the challenges, survivors of domestic violence in Washington State often can’t secure court-ordered protection that could help keep them safe, despite recent reforms by Washington State lawmakers. In an investigation of conditions that domestic violence survivors confront in Washington, reporter Kelsey Turner, writing in InvestigateWest with support from the Fund, found that a crowded shelter system, lack of access to legal representation and inconsistent application of legal standards are among the key reasons low-income and homeless people fail to win protective orders. About 51% of civil protection orders for domestic violence in King County, which includes Seattle and Tacoma, are denied, according to data obtained by InvestigateWest.