Domestic violence protection orders are designed to protect people from violence and abuse. Although the process is intended to be as simple and easy as it can be, Washington civil protection order attorneys understand that it can be difficult for everyone involved, especially children. It can be hard for children to talk about what has happened. The Washington Supreme Court has recently clarified that there is not a due process right to cross-examine a minor in every protection order proceeding, but there may be such a right in some cases.
In this case, the 14-year-old daughter had taken an overdose of prescription medication in November 2014, partly to avoid visiting her father. She told a social worker her father had been physically and verbally abusive. She had told her counselor her father often called her names. She stated that her father had “trie[d] to suffocate her.” She said he had been doing this for years. She said he put her under pillows and lay on them, which made her feel like she was suffocating and caused her to panic.
The mother sought a domestic violence protection order on behalf of herself and her children. Her petition stated that her daughter harmed herself because of her fear of visiting her father and because of his history of domestic violence against them.