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Child Welfare Services Division

5730 Packard Ave., Suite 100, (P.O. Box 2320) Marysville, CA 95901

24-Hour Emergency Hotline: (530)749-6288

Domestic Violence

1. What is domestic violence?

The law defines domestic violence as a certain kinds of abuse directed toward a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, or a person with whom the abuser has had a "dating engagement relationship" or with whom the abuser has had a child, or a person related to the abuser by the blood or marriage. It is a type of violence that cuts across all cultures, ethnic backgrounds, education levels, and income brackets. It impacts homosexuals as often as heterosexuals. It occurs among teenagers as well as senior citizens, and men as well as women.

Domestic violence is behavior driven by a need to control. It can range from threats, annoying telephone calls and stalking (such as following the victim to and from work, and threatening the victim), to unwanted sexual touching and hitting. It also can be defined as one spouse destroying the other's personal property.

2. How can the law help me if I'm battered?

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you have children, they, too, could be at risk. When the police arrive, explain what happened. The officers can contact an on-call judicial officer and issue you an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) on the spot. This legally prohibits the batterer from coming within a certain distance of you. It also may grant you temporary custody of your children. To obtain an EPO, there must be an "immediate and present" danger that you and/or your child will be abducted by a relative. The EPO will remain in effect for five court days or seven calendar days.

To obtain a longer-term restraining order, you must file for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Go to your local family law or superior court and request an application for a TRO. You also can request that a local law enforcement agency officially notify -- "serve" -- the order on -- the batterer free of charge. The TRO will go into effect as soon as it has been signed by the judge and personally delivered to the batterer. You, however, cannot be the one who officially serves the order; a law enforcement officer or other adult (not named in the order) must serve it.

After filing for the TRO, you must return to court on the date shown on the court papers for a hearing. At that hearing, you may request that TRO be made "permanent," which means that it will be good for up to three years and can be renewed. Such restraining orders usually require the batterer to stay at least 100 yards -- the length of a football filed - away from you and have no contact with you.


For local assistance contact:

Casa de Esperanza

Tel: (530) 674-2040


3. Whom else can I call for help and support?

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-8000799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233 or, for TTY, 1-800-787-3234). Whoever answers the phone can help you deal with your situation, and can refer you to shelters, counseling, and other assistance available in you area.

You are not alone. There are more than 4 millions victims of domestic violence each year. One intimate partner in three will experience at least one physical assault during his or her lifetime. In addition, there are growing numbers of elderly parents who are verbally or physically abused by their adult children. It is not your fault. Help is available.

In California alone, there are dozens of local assistance programs. You may be able to get free counseling for your children as well as yourself. You may even be able to recoup wages lost while recovering injuries by a spouse or partner. California's Crime Victim Compensation Program -- administered by the State Board of Control's Victims of Crime Program -- provides such financial help to crime victims who meet certain criteria. Other losses that may be reimbursed by the program include the cost of medical and dental work, mental health counseling, financial support, a funeral and burial, and job retraining.

Call the Victims Resource Center toll-free at 1-800-VICTIMS(842-8467) or the Victims of Crime Program at 1-800-777-9229 for more information.

Child Welfare Services Division • 5730 Packard Ave., Suite 100, (P.O. Box 2320) Marysville, CA 95901 • 24-Hour Emergency Hotline (530) 749-6288


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