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Arrest of an Abuser

Police and Mandatory Arrest
If you are in immediate danger, call 911, and remain calm as much as possible. The mandatory arrest law says that the police must arrest the person they believe to be the batterer if they can tell that the violence has happened or that violence is likely to happen soon. If you call the police, a police report should be made and even if you don’t want to press charges at the time, the police report can be used as evidence should you decide to press charges or apply for a restraining order in the future.

If Your Abuser Goes to Jail …
If your abuser is arrested, you may call the jail and ask them to tell you how long he is going to be held. You may also request that they hold him as long as possible if you are afraid for your safety (make sure to tell them that). You may also request that they call you when or before your abuser if released. However, even if the jail agrees to hold your abuser until arraignment (usually the next day), if he is able to post 10% of the bail he will be released automatically. If you are concerned about this, you may ask the jail to raise the bail. If your abuser was already on parole or probation, you may want to notify his PO. If you don’t know the name, you can call community corrections with your abuser’s name and date of birth and get the information.

When your abuser is released, he will most likely sign an order agreeing not to have any contact with you either in person, through third party, mail or phone. This is called a no-contact order and it is good until the abuser goes to court or until the charges are dropped. The police can arrest if they have probable cause to believe that someone violated a no-contact order.

Wallowa County Jail

Wallowa County Community Corrections

Wallowa County District Attorney’s Office

Wallowa County Crime Victim’s Advocate

Pressing Charges
The District Attorney is responsible for pressing charges. Generally, they will need information from you in order to decide what crime to charge the abuser with. Although, if enough detail was provided in the police report, they may not need to talk with you. If you do not talk with them, they may decide to press charges. Even if you are not sure if you want to help press charges, you should still talk with the Crime Victim Services or the DA’s office as soon as possible. For more information about Victims Services, see the section “Victim Services Programs” or call:
Crime Victim Services at (503) 434-7510

Temporary Restraining Orders
See the page “Temporary Restraining Orders” for qualification information. If you have children or material goods that you left behind to get out of danger, you may want to get a Writ of Assistance at the time you get your restraining order. A Writ of Assistance allows you about 20 minutes to get your children or property with the Sheriff’s accompaniment. For many women restraining orders are helpful. You must decide whether you think it would be helpful for you.


© 2008 Safe Harbors