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What is Sexual Assault Protection Order in Washington?

A trusted law practice serving Kent, Lynnwood, and Everett, MA, Feldman & Lee PS provides compassionate legal counsel and aggressive representation to individuals seeking protection orders due to sexual assault. We advocate tirelessly for our clients’ rights and utilize our skills and years of experience to resolve cases with their best interests in mind.

Jurisdictions We Serve

The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Feldman & Lee PS provide legal guidance and representation to individuals seeking a sexual assault protection order (SAPO) in Kent, Everett, and Lynnwood, WA.


A survey of Washingtonians between 2010 and 2012 found that 45% of women and 22% of men have experienced sexual violence during their lifetimes. To provide support and help ensure the safety of victims of sexual assault in Washington, the state, county, and local governments offer resources such as crisis hotlines, shelters, and counseling services.

Meanwhile, to address the immediate need for protection from their abusers, sexual assault survivors in Kent can file a petition for a sexual assault protection order (SAPO) at King County Courthouse or Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all filings are currently done remotely.

For a SAPO to be granted, the petitioner must prove that they have been the victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct or penetration. For immediate guidance with the filing process and representation at hearings, reach out to our Kent offices.


Despite the relatively low crime rate in Everett, in 2019, there were 40 incidents of rape per 100,000 percent of the population. The actual number may be much higher due to many victims being afraid to report sexual abuse or assault.

In Everett and the rest of Washington state, victims of sexual assault can request a protection order against their abusers, whether or not they reported the incident to law enforcement.

A sexual assault protection order (SAPO) requires the alleged perpetrator to stay away from the victim and the places where they live and work. If you are considering filing a petition for a SAPO, bear in mind that all filings must be done remotely due to pandemic restrictions.

For compassionate legal guidance and representation for your case, don’t hesitate to contact us through our Everett office.


The state of Washington takes sexual assault very seriously. Community sexual assault programs in the state served approximately 13,398 primary sexual assault victims and 9,175 secondary victims in 2017 alone.

In Lynnwood, victims of sexual assault have access to a number of resources to help ensure their well-being and keep them safe from their abusers. One of these is a sexual assault protection order (SAPO).

A SAPO is a civil order that prohibits the perpetrator from contacting the victim. It requires the perpetrator to stay away from the victim’s home, school, or place of work.

Obtaining a SAPO requires not just filing forms but also appearing at hearings. The process can be challenging to navigate on your own. Reach out to our Lynnwood office to learn how we can help you obtain a SAPO and provide you with representation.

What a SAPO Can Do for You

Victims of sexual assault have the right to be protected from the person who has harmed them. You are entitled to the space and safety you need to begin your recovery.

A sexual assault protection order (SAPO) may help provide you with that space and peace of mind. With a SAPO in place, an abuser who contacts you or shows up where you live, study, or work could be subject to criminal prosecution.

It can also require that they not attempt to contact you through third parties and prohibit your abuser from visiting other places you frequent.

Obtaining a SAPO

To get a SAPO against your abuser, you would have to go through several steps. First, you’d have to petition the court and file the appropriate forms.

You would also need to appear for at a hearing, during which you’d be asked questions about the sexual assault, and you’d need to answer them under oath.

If the judge grants a temporary SAPO, you’ll be required to appear for a full hearing in two weeks’ time. The person who was assaulted may be at this hearing, possibly with their lawyer. The judge will take testimony from you and the respondent.

As the petitioner, you are required to show the judge, by a preponderance of the evidence, that your abuser committed an act or acts of nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration. You are also required to demonstrate that, to feel safe, you need the abuser to stay away from you.

Compassionate Legal Guidance and Representation

Navigating the legal process of obtaining a SAPO can be difficult to do on your own—especially when you also need to prioritize your safety, healing, and peace of mind. Additionally, going to court, answering the judge’s questions, and seeing the person who has harmed you can be frightening.

While you are not required to hire a lawyer to petition the court for a SAPO, having a compassionate, skilled lawyer at your side can make the process less daunting.

At Feldman & Lee PS, our lawyers not only take care of all the filing requirements. We will also discuss the remedies available to you, plan for challenges, and support you during your hearings. Additionally, we will assist with the collection of evidence to help strengthen your case.

We will treat your case with personalized attention, and you can be confident that we will advocate fiercely and tirelessly on your behalf.

Why Have Us in Your Corner

At Feldman & Lee PS, we approach and treat each case with compassion and skill. We have extensive experience in representing clients in Everett, Lynnwood, and surrounding areas who are seeking sexual assault protection orders against their abusers.

With us by your side, you can rest easy knowing that we will do everything we can toward the best possible resolution. We will always keep you in the loop regarding its status, discussing potential remedies and strategies to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

You are welcome to ask us any questions you may have about SAPO. We will work with you to determine and plan for your next steps, whether your goal is to get a permanent order or explore options for a criminal case against your abuser.

Our SAPO Lawyers Are Here for You

We understand that petitioning for a sexual assault protection order can be emotionally challenging. You don’t have to go it alone. When you choose Feldman & Lee PS to represent you, you can be confident that we will:

  • Treat your case and anything you say with confidentiality and discretion
  • Keep you up to date on the status and progress of your case
  • Be easy to reach in case you have questions or concerns
  • Guide you throughout the entire process of petitioning for a sexual assault protection order
  • Be by your side at court during your hearings to provide you with support and diligent legal representation

Reach out to us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.


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