Domestic Violence Program
Domestic Violence can impact many aspects of a person’s life. The abuse affects not only the victim but also your children, your loved ones and your co workers. Domestic Violence can have long lasting physical, emotional and financial effects. No one deserves to be abused. It is not your fault. Help is available through many local resources including the District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
From a legal perspective “Domestic Violence” means abuse committed against a person who is:
• a spouse or former spouse
• a fiancée or former fiancée
• a current or former boyfriend/girlfriend
• cohabitant or former cohabitant (live in boyfriend/girlfriend)
• a person with whom you have had a child
Abuse means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in fear of serious bodily injury.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT?
After Law Enforcement completes their investigation, the report is sent to the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Unit for review. The assigned attorney will determine if there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges.
HOW CAN I DROP CHARGES?
Although the District Attorney’s Office is interested in your input, a victim does not have the responsibility to either “press” or "drop" criminal charges. The District Attorney assigned to the case will review the law enforcement report to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to file criminal charges. If you have input you would like to provide to the District Attorney’s Office, contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Program.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE FILED?
It may take some time for a case to proceed through the criminal process. The District Attorney’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program has Victim Advocates available to provide an explanation of the criminal justice process and provide you with regular case updates.
HOW DO I GO TO GET A ”RESTRAINING ORDER”?
At the time the officer arrives at the scene you may request an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) that is good for 5 business days from date of issuance. In order to obtain an extended order you may contact the District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance Program. If Criminal charges have been filed the assigned Victim Advocate can request an order through the criminal court. If charges have not been filed, your assigned Victim Advocate can refer you to other local resources to obtain one. Refer to “helpful phone numbers” on the back of this brochure.
MY SPOUSE IS THREATENING TO TAKE MY CHILDREN AWAY, WHAT CAN I DO?
There are affordable legal resources available to parents who are in a violent relationship and are concerned about immigration consequences, custody, visitation and child support. The Superior Court Family Law Facilitator Program staff is available to answer general questions and make appropriate referrals. Please refer to “helpful phone numbers” on the back of the brochure.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE BEEN THREATENED?
Leaving an abusive relationship can be very dangerous. Report any threatening behavior to law enforcement. Have one more than one plan to keep you and your children safe. Here are some ideas:
In a place known only to you (home of a neighbor, a friend or family member) keep the following:
• A spare set of car keys
• Domestic Violence Hotline’s phone number (see helpful phone numbers)
• Copies of any important personal papers (restraining order, birth certificates, social security cards, etc.)
I NEED ASSISTANCE RELOCATING, CAN YOU HELP ME?
In some cases the California Victim Compensation Program may financially assist with crime related expenses including but not limited to relocation expenses up to $2,000 per household. Your Victim/Witness Assistance Program Advocate can help you determine if you are eligible and/or obtain emergency assistance. For victims who do not feel safe at their home, contact Domestic Violence Solutions through their 24 hour crisis line.
HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS
District Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Assistance: 568-2400
Domestic Violence Solutions
24 Hours Crisis Line: 964-5245
Family Law Facilitator:
Legal Aid Foundation:
Countywide Social Service Referral Directory 211
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