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You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
You do not deserve to be abused.
Help is yours for the asking.

Sumner’s Domestic Violence (DV) Kiosk

The Sumner Police Department hosts a computer kiosk in which a person may file for a domestic violence protection order (DVPO). Filing for a DVPO is a function of the county Superior Court, it is not a law enforcement process. While the police desk can help you get started and may be able to answer basic questions, they cannot provide legal advice or help you fill out the forms.

DV Kiosk Hours and Restrictions

The DV Kiosk is only available for use when City Hall is open for public business. Because City Hall hours may differ from court hours, the kiosk may stop functioning once the Court is closed. We recommend starting your petition with enough time to finish before the Court closes. You may also start a petition and save it to complete it later. Call the Court for alternative filing options.

Saving or Finishing Your Petition

If you save your petition, or when you submit it upon completion, you will be provided with a confirmation number. This is your petition’s unique identifier in the system, and is the only way to access your petition. Please make sure to write it down where you will not lose it.

Phone Interview, Judge’s Review, and Decision

Once submitted, your petition will need to be reviewed by the Court. When you finish your petition, call the Pierce County Superior Court at 253-798-7455, option 1, then option 2. They will set up a phone interview with a judge or commissioner to provide details and/or testimony regarding your petition. If you need to submit supporting documentation, follow the directions at the kiosk or ask the Court for their procedures.

After reviewing your petition, the judge or commissioner will determine whether to allow your case to proceed. They will also determine whether to grant a temporary protection order, effective upon service, which lasts until your hearing date. At the hearing, you can petition the Court for a full order. Filing a petition later in the day may cause the review period to extend to the next business day. Keep this in mind if filing on a Friday.

Service of DVPO Documents

If your DVPO is granted, the Court will provide you with documents that will need to be personally served to the respondent. Service can be completed by anybody over 18 years old who is not a party to the order, by law enforcement, or by private process server. Service by law enforcement is not guaranteed – officers do not necessarily have any special authority to serve papers beyond any other type of person. When respondents are difficult to locate, unwilling to be contacted, etc., service may not always be possible.

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What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is about power and control. Batterers use the power they have to establish control within an intimate relationship. They use a pattern of behaviors to intimidate, manipulate and physically violate their partners.

Are you a victim of domestic violence?

Are you currently living with or dating someone who:
1.  Is jealous and possessive toward you and doesn’t want you to have other friends or interests?
2.  Accuses you of flirting and checks on where you’ve been and who you’ve spoken to?
3.  Tells you jealousy is a sign of love?
4.  Tries to control you and makes all the decisions
5.  Insults you in public and in private?
6.  Criticizes the way you dress, act, and your interests?
7.  Seems to lack his/her own interests and be overly dependent on the relationship?
8.  Destroys your belongings?
9.  Threatens to hurt you, your family members or pets?
10. Touches you in a way that is frightening or painful?
11. Makes you have sex in ways or at times that are uncomfortable for you?
12. Blames you for the abuse?
13. Threatens you or threatens suicide when you want to break up or see other people?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, you and your loved ones could be in danger…

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Domestic Violence Safety Plan – Protect Yourself

Plan Ahead:

  • Develop a plan with your children.
  • Arrange to have a place to go.
  • Make copies of important papers and put them in a safe place.
  • Have important phone numbers available.
  • Pack and hide an overnight bag.
  • Put aside money and spare keys.

During an Incident:

  • Call for help (911).
  • Get out if you can.
  • Take important items listed above.

At Work, School, Public Places:

  • Inform your work, daycare and schools.
  • Change your daily routine.
  • Plan ahead for unexpected contact with the abuser.

In Your House:

  • Change locks, secure doors and windows.
  • Arrange to have someone stay with you.
  • Change your phone number and have it unlisted.
  • Change PINS and passwords, especially for voicemail and bank accounts.
  • Obtain a protection order.
  • Notify trusted family and friends.

If You Can’t Leave:

  • Avoid rooms with only one exit.
  • Avoid the kitchen, bathroom, garage.
  • Call for help (911).

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Domestic Violence Statistics

THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE

Intimate Partner Violence is more common in our communities than many imagine.  According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, over 25% of women (and just under 8% of men) reported being physically or sexually assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner at some point during their lives (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 8)).

Annually, we estimate that approximately 1.8 % of women (roughly 1.8 million women across the US) experience physical or sexual violence or are stalked by an intimate partner.  Approximately 1% of men (or just over 1 million men) also report IPV victimization.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 8))

Findings from the National Violence Against Women survey confirm other research that suggest that women experience more intimate partner violence – and report more severe violence – than men.  Women were two to three times more likely than men to report having an intimate partner throw something at them, push them, shove them, or grab them.    Furthermore, they were 7 to 14 times more likely to report being beaten up, strangled, threatened with a knife or gun, or the victim of an attempted drowning than men.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 17)).

Women are also more likely to report being injured by an intimate partner than men.  The National Violence Against Women survey found that women who were physically assaulted by an intimate partner were more than twice as likely as men to report being injured during their most recent assault.  (Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence.  Washington, DC.: US Department of Justice; 2000 (pg 41)).

Intimate partner violence costs our communities tremendously.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the cost of IPV exceed $5.8 billion each year, nearly $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical or mental health costs to victims.  (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.  Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States.  Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003 pg 2).

Contact Us

City Attorney’s Office
253-299-5610       FAX 253-299-5509
Full Employee Contact List

Other Resources

Police, Sheriff, or Medic Emergency: 911
Sumner Police non-emergency/dispatch: 253-287-4455 or toll-free 1-800-562-9800
Sumner Police administrative offices: 253-863-6384
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-799-7233 – will refer locally as necessary
Tacoma/Pierce County Domestic Violence Helpline:  253-798-4166 or 1-800-764-2420
United Way of Pierce County 253-572-HELP
Good Samaritan Domestic Violence Counseling 253-445-8120, ext. 405
YWCA of Pierce County 253-272-4181 or 253-383-2593
Family Renewal Domestic Violence Shelter/Safe House 253-475-9010
Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County 253-474-7273
Washington Courts: Access to court forms and instructions

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