Domestic Violence Against Children

When you hear the term domestic violence, what image comes to mind?  For most people, a battered wife may be the prominent image that a mind conjures up.  Domestic violence, although most commonly addressed from a battered wife’s standpoint, can happen to any member of the family (even men) but is commonly perpetuated on innocent children.  In situations of divorce, children can often feel pulled to take one parent’s side, even though it is only natural for children to love both parents.  Sadly, statistics prove that approximately three million American children will observe acts of domestic violence during any given year, with a high likelihood that they will also become victims of abusive acts. 

Unfortunately, acts of domestic violence proved deadly for one young Washington resident.  Allegedly, a Washington resident Svetlana Laurel, age 52 faces a wide variety of charges for several acts of domestic violence against her own children and ex-husband.  The perpetrator faces serious accusations of perpetuating a hostage situation involving her son, daughter, and ex-husband.  The daughter reportedly experienced the severity of her mother’s wrath being bound with zip ties on her wrists and ankles at which point the mother shot the teen between her eyes, directly leading to her death.

The accused will face serious consequences if she is convicted of shooting to death her 14-year-old daughter Natalie Gulizia.  Penalties may include life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Charges against the woman include, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and unlawful imprisonment.

This situation appears to be a case of revenge gone wrong.  Law enforcement is under the impression Laurel was motivated to commit the crime as an act of revenge against her ex-husband who received full custody of their children.  The woman was only granted supervised visits and in a violent reaction to her bitterness, chose to attack her entire family.

Instead of quietly fighting against the custody arrangement, with the intent to earn parental rights back, the perpetrator instead decided to enter her ex-husbands Renton home on Tuesday.  At the time, the daughter and ex-husband were away in Seattle, leaving the 12-year-old son alone and victim to his mother’s wrath.  The young man allegedly was gagged with a sock, zip-tied, and faced the menacing threat of a stun gun.  When the other two returned home, the husband was also restrained with zip-ties and beaten with a gun. The young girl who became the unfortunate victim was simply attempting to call emergency services for help, instead she received a bullet between the eyes.  The person receiving the call at the 911 center, heard zip-ties being secured, followed by the fatal shot, and screaming.  The offender did not stop here, but also attempted to take her ex-husbands life, failing due to her gun becoming jammed.  She is now being held in prison at King Country Jail without the possibly of bail.