SOUTH SOUND SIDEKICK: Domestic violence and the holidays

By Volcano Staff on December 15, 2012


South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, the South Sound. It posts every Friday (sometimes on Saturday if tragic events happen in our nation). Today, The Counselor is back with the lowdown on what will happen if the police respond to a domestic violence report at your home.


QUESTION: Last night my roommate came home drunk, we argued and the police where called. What is going to happen now?  

ANSWER: This is the season when people drink way too much, and often argue about Christmas, relatives and money. Domestic violence is as serious as it gets. The Yakima YWCA reports an increase in domestic violence calls of 50 percent over the holidays.  Nationwide, calls spike by 30 to 60 percent on New Year's Day.  These are big numbers. 

I am not going to point fingers in my response, and this article should not in anyway be considered an essay on the root causes of domestic violence, or solutions to this horrific problem. I am just going to tell what is going to happen if the police come to your house over the holidays in response to a domestic violence call. 

First and foremost, they will arrest somebody if they believe any type of criminal behavior has occurred - this would include pushing, shoving, hitting or breaking things. In fact, they are required to arrest somebody. (RCW 10.99.030). 

The person who goes to jail will be seen the next judicial court day, i.e. if you are arrested Friday night you will be in jail until Monday. The court will put in place a no-contact order - even if the parties do not want one - the court will order it.  The arrested person will have to move to a new home. They will not be allowed to live where they used to. The court will order that the arrested person have absolutely no contact with the other person involved. This no-contact order will likely be in place for at least eight weeks. The court will want proof that both parties have, and are, receiving some type of counseling for domestic violence from a state certified service provider.

So, no-contact with your boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, husband /wife till after the holidays. The cost includes supporting two households instead of one.  Repeated court appearances and months of counseling over what? Drinking too much? Being angry?

Please, if drinking or domestic violence in your household is a problem, access many of the resources the state offers:

Wishing you happy holidays and a safe season,

The Counselor

>>> Questions for The Counselor may be sent to

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LINK: DUI advice



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