Many people think “domestic violence” is limited to people who are or have previously been married or in a romantic relationship. Under Washington law, however, domestic violence is defined to include incidents between family or household members. Sometimes, whether a Washington domestic violence protection order can properly be issued turns on the relationship between the parties, as seen in a recent case.
A woman petitioned for a domestic violence protection order against a man to whom she referred as her “uncle.” The man was seeking repayment of money he had lent the woman, and she alleged he made threats against her and her children.
The man’s attorney challenged whether a domestic violence order was applicable because the parties had never lived together and were not closely related. The woman had to explain her relationship to the man through an interpreter. She told the court her father had told her the man was the son of her grandmother’s first cousin. The court asked her if there was a blood relationship, and she responded, “possibly, yes.”