What is the legal definition of harassment in Washington state?

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The legal definition and the legal interpretation are two separate things. If you were to read the legal definition, it reads like the anti-harassment order is designed to protect a citizen from physical harm or threat, and to protect against severe emotional bullying. In actual practice, however, the bounds of "harassment" are interpreted much more broadly than the legal definition makes it appear. Any contact whatsoever with the "victim" after that "victim" has requested no contact, is considered harassment. Notification can be by any means. It is best for the victim to prove notification by showing a registered letter, receipt requested; however, that is not always necessary. Just saying, "Leave me alone" or "You are not welcome to call here" is considered sufficient notice. Any contact whatsoever can be considered harassment, no matter how well meaning and no matter how easily ignored. For example, writing letters: Even though letter scould easily be thrown away unopened like junk mail, letters can still be considered harassment. Furthermore, even if the letters are addressed to another person at the "victim's" address, and the "victim" invades the privacy of the addressee, and reads the mail, that STILL can be considered harassing the "victim." Interpretation of the harassment law strongly favors the victim and almost any "victim" can get a harassment order against any person who continues to contact him/her even in the mildest and most unobtrusive way. Legal defense against a harassment order is usually fruitless, as the general sentiment is that if the "victim" finds you offensive, then you are. The "victim" is required to show a pattern of conduct, but it only takes a couple of incidents to prove the pattern to the court, and the pattern only needs to show that the "victim" did not want contact. Harassment orders will always include any minor children of the "victim," even if the "harasser" has never had a thing to do with the child. Harassment orders always include physical distances whereupon the "harasser" is required to stay away from the "victim's" home, employment, school, and the child's school. These are routinely a part of every harassment order, and are not negotiable. Harassment orders are generally granted for a period of one year. However, after the harassment order doesn't really expire. If the victim doesn't want contact, and contact is initiated after the order expired, the harasser can still be prosecuted civilly. That is, while the harasser can't be sent to jail after the expiration date, fines and another harassment order--this time lifelong--can be granted. The harassment law in the State of Washington can be a great tool for getting rid of anyone you don't want to associate with anymore, say an ex or a former roommate. Just send the certified letter, receipt requested, and you'll never hear from that person again. If you do, a harassment order is cheap, fast, and easy to obtain. The only way the "victim" is going to be refused the requested harassment order is if the "victim" continues to voluntarily communicate with the harasser. If you really want no contact, you have to be sincere. It has to go both ways.
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