Now that the 2019 holiday season is officially upon us, many people are planning for Christmas or Hanukkah and New Year's. And despite the refrain from that popular old song, “It's the most wonderful time of the year,” it can actually be a stressful time of year for many people. Unrealistic expectations about what the holidays “should” be, financial struggles, and family stress can lead to a very unhappy time of year for many.
There is a myth that domestic violence incidents spike during the holidays, with blame being put on higher than usual alcohol consumption and family stress. But according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, calls on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day are lower than on other days of the year.
This may be because during the holidays, many families will try to “normalize” their situation, or perhaps they try to work things out for the sake of their children. Many people also find solace in religion, and so they may attend church or synagogue more often during the holiday season than they do the rest of the year.
Domestic Violence and Children
Often we think of children during the holidays because it is such an important and exciting time of year for them. Anticipating their gifts, participating in family traditions, and experiencing parties and events that only happen this one time a year is all very exciting for children. But sadly, if you've been accused of domestic violence, you might be barred from seeing your children during this holiday season.
When children are involved in a domestic violence charge, the penalties are severe. Your parental custody rights could be removed or restricted. According to Washington's RCW 26.50.020:
Any person may seek relief under this chapter by filing a petition with a court alleging that the person has been the victim of domestic violence committed by the respondent. The person may petition for relief on behalf of himself or herself and on behalf of minor family or household members.
Any child 16 to 18 years old can seek relief from domestic violence on their own, and a minor under the age of 16 can seek relief with the help of another parent, guardian, or close friend who is a competent adult over the age of 18.
Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic violence and are a parent to a minor child, it is important to understand what penalties and consequences you might face. You could lose your parental rights and miss out on spending time with your children during the holidays. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi at 206-621-8777 to learn how to protect your rights, or fill out a contact form.