Washington civil protection order attorneys understand that domestic violence can be a complex issue that reaches beyond the couple. Children may become involved by witnessing the violence or by being threatened. Washington law allows a person to petition for a protection order on behalf of himself or herself, or on behalf of minor family or household members.
A Washington Court of Appeals, however, recently held that a mother could not obtain a protection order on behalf of her child when the child was not “present” for the violence and did not have fear of imminent harm, bodily injury, or assault. The Washington Supreme Court disagreed.
In this case, the mother petitioned for a domestic violence protection order against her son’s father on behalf of herself and her children following a history of domestic violence. According to the Washington Supreme Court opinion, the man had repeatedly physically and emotionally assaulted his son’s mother. He pushed her to the ground while she was pregnant, had tried to smother her with a pillow, pulled a knife on her, threatened to kidnap their son, and threatened to do something horrible to her daughters. He also threatened to kill her, her children, and himself.