You are a victim of domestic violence, and police officers are summoned to your home. You are possibly injured, in fear, and do not know what questions to ask for further HELP! The following guidelines will assist in answering those often difficult questions that you may have in your time of need.
- File a crime report and get a case number. A detective will contact you about the case.
- Should you choose to remain in your present relationship, your safety is extremely important. Consider keeping an emergency bag packed with clothing, money, emergency telephone numbers and/or toys for children.
- Many batterers, unless held accountable, will batter again! We recommend obtaining a restraining order. A temporary restraining order (TRO) will be granted for a period of ten days. If the order is granted by the Family Court Judge, it is recommended that you give a copy of the restraining order to the Marshal, so that the offender can be served. Both you, and the offender will be ordered to return in ten days, so it can be finalized for a period of THREE YEARS.
- Make copies of the restraining order, so you, family members, friends, neighbors and your employer can be aware of the situation. If you have the restraining order BEFORE you call the police, give a copy to the officer.
- Keep a record of all violations of the terms of the TRO or EPO. Keep it in a secure place. Report all violations to the detective in charge of your case.
- Change your home locks.
- Consider getting a dog.
- Get an unlisted phone number. Tell your family and friends not to give out the number to anyone else.
Center for Community Solutions at (858) 272-1767, the YWCA's Battered Women's Services at (619) 234-3164, or San Diego County Domestic Violence 24 hour hotline at 1-888-DVLINKS. All services are 24-hour hotlines that are staffed with persons who can evaluate situations and make referrals for counseling, legal assistance, shelters, support groups, etc.
Answers to many questions about domestic violence are contained in a consumer education pamphlet entitled "Can the Law Protect Me from Domestic Violence?" published by the State Bar of California. It is on the Bar's website at www.calbar.ca.gov and can be ordered by calling (888) 875-5297.