Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month we at SBI would like to highlight the latest statistical information, definitions of domestic violence and help line contact numbers for abused women who find themselves in a domestic violence relationship.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and the 30th anniversary of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. These were two vital pieces of legislation that led to an increase of resources and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is more than just a "family problem" it's a crime as defined by California Penal Code section 273.5 (a) which reads as follows:
"Any person who willfully inflicts upon his or her spouse, or any person who willfully inflicts upon any person with whom he or she is cohabiting, or any person who willfully inflicts upon any person who is the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6000) or by both."
Domestic violence includes, but is not limited, to the following circumstances:
- Physical - hitting or burning
- Sexual - rape or incest
- Emotional - threatening, insulting or harassing
- Neglect - poor physical or emotional care
Domestic violence might begin with enraged words, a push, or a slap, and may escalate into a pattern of assaultive controlling behaviors including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks against the victim, children, or property.
Domestic violence is defined as willful intimidation, physical or sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or nationality.
Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, insufficient financial resources, fear, shame or to protect their children.
The police and the court system are there to help you in your hour of need. Below are immediate examples of how to begin to protect yourself and others that are close to you.
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
- Police officers at the scene can obtain an Emergency Protective Order (EPO).
- This Order is good for five days
- It can be served by any police officer, anytime of the day or evening
- A police officer may use his/her own judgment and obtain an EPO if the victim is reluctant
- There is no cost to the victim for obtaining this EPO.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and
Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)
- Victim must go to Superior Court to file the appropriate forms
- This Order is good for three weeks
- A Police Officer can serve it for you
- When an order has expired, it is the responsibility of the victim to reinstate the order
- All orders are free of charge
Domestic Violence Hotline numbers:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - Their advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential and anonymous.
- Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-978-3600
Statistics as reported by The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS):
Domestic violence accounted for 21% of all violent victimization. For the 10-year aggregate period 2003–12, domestic violence accounted for 21% of all violent victimizations. Domestic violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault committed by intimate partners, immediate family members, or other relatives. Intimate partner violence (15%) accounted for a greater percentage of all violent victimizations, compared to violence committed by immediate family members (4%) or other relatives (2%). Well-known or casual acquaintances accounted for 32% of all violent victimizations, and strangers accounted for 38%.
Please contact SBI with any questions that you may have. Your safety is of upmost importance to us. All conversations are confidential. We've handled numerous domestic violence cases in our combined 64 years of experience, both as sworn police officers and now as private investigators. We're here to help!