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Know Your Rights

Domestic and sexual violence are crimes in Washington state. There are several provisions in the law that protect victims regardless of their status.

Here at MiA, we know that many immigrants who experience domestic violence do not feel safe seeking support. In fact, in the cases of immigrant survivors, one of the biggest barriers to asking for help is the fear of deportation. If you are undocumented, your partner may know and may use that information to keep you under his/her/their power and control. 

Regardless of your immigration status, know that there is hope and that there are options available to support you and keep you safe.  Before taking action, it may be helpful to know  your rights, seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in the type of immigration assistance you need, and investigate how the police department has handled cases involving undocumented immigrants who have been victims of crimes in the past.

Know Your Rights

At the time of making the police report, receive a written statement of crime victims' rights, including the name, address, and telephone number of a county or local crime victim/witness program, if one is available in your area. (RCW 7.69.030).

Be informed of the final disposition of the case. (RCW 7.69.030).

Be informed of changes in the hearing dates to which you have been summoned. (RCW 7.69.030).

Receive protection from harm or threats of harm arising from cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts. (RCW 7.69.030).

Be informed of the procedure to follow to request and receive the witness fees to which you are entitled. (RCW 7.69.030).

Be provided, whenever practical, with a safe waiting area during court proceedings that does not require you to be in close proximity to the accused and their family or friends. (RCW 7.69.030).

To have any personal or stolen property returned to you as soon as possible after the completion of the case. (RCW 7.69.030).

Have appropriate advocacy from the employer in the event of absence from work for court appearances. (RCW 7.69.030).

To be provided access to medical assistance without undue delay.(RCW 7.69.030).

Have, whenever practical, a victim advocate or advocate present at prosecution or defense interviews and court proceedings.  (RCW 7.69.030).

Be present in court during the trial, or if subpoenaed to testify, schedule it as early as possible in the process to be present during the trial after testifying. (RCW 7.69.030).

To be informed of the date, time and place of the sentencing hearing for serious crimes upon request. (RCW 7.69.030).

​Submit a victim impact statement, which will be included in all pre-sentence reports and permanently included in the offender's files and records. (RCW 7.69.030).

Present a victim impact statement personally or by proxy, at sentencing hearings for serious crimes. (RCW 7.69.030).

To order restitution when there is a conviction for a serious crime, even if the offender is incarcerated, unless extraordinary circumstances exist. (RCW 7.69.030).

Present a statement in person, in writing, by audio/video or by representation, at any hearing on a request for pardon or commutation of sentence.(RCW 7.69.030).

Access a professional interpreter, if you do not speak English or do not master it well, when you receive medical care or go to the judicial system (e.g. police, court). All agencies that receive federal funds must provide this service by law. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

A someter una Orden de Protección Civil en las cortes (RCW  7.105)

To receive emergency medical care regardless of your ability to pay the expenses. (RCW 70.170.060)

To submit a Crime Victim Benefits Application with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries as long as you are eligible. 

You have the right to go to a shelter and obtain short-term housing. (RCW 70.123.070)

If you need help or would like to talk to an advocate, call us at our 24/7 helpline at 509-795-2028.

Why Do They Stay?

Supporting Someone

Healthy Relationships

Equity Wheel

Sexual Violence

Power & Control Wheel

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