Domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one person in an intimate relationship to gain power and control over the other person. It involves a range of behaviors that can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, or spiritual in nature. Domestic violence can occur between current or former spouses, dating partners, individuals who share a household and are in an intimate relationship, or for those who have certain familial relationships.
The abusive behaviors in domestic violence may include physical assault, threats, intimidation, isolation, stalking, manipulation, verbal insults, humiliation, economic control, coercion, and other harmful actions. It is important to note that domestic violence is not limited to physical violence; it can also involve non-physical forms of abuse that aim to exert control and instill fear in the survivor.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects individuals of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religious beliefs. It has profound and long-lasting impacts on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the survivors. Recognizing and addressing domestic violence is crucial to supporting survivors and promoting a safe and healthy environment for all individuals.
It is important to recognize that nobody deserves to endure any form of abuse, regardless of the circumstances.
Are you in an abusive relationship? Ask yourself:
- Are you ever afraid to go home?
- Do you live in fear of your partner?
- Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells in your relationship?
- Has your partner threatened to harm you, your children, your pets, or someone you love?
- Has your partner ever blamed you for their violent behavior?
- Has your partner threatened you or your family members with a gun?
If you answered yes to any of these, please call Your Safe Place today:
(619) 533-6000. If you are concerned about your immediate safety, please call 911.
What to do if you are in an abusive relationship
Safety planning is an essential tool for those experiencing violence to stay safe and take steps towards ending the abuse. Your Safe Place Client Care Coordinators will work with clients to develop an individualized safety plan. Domestic Assault Forensic Exams are also available at Your Safe Place for certain clients working with law enforcement.
How to keep safe from unhealthy and abusive relationships
- High friendship quality
- Social support (i.e., participating in groups that interest you, clubs, sports, music, art, etc.)
- Community support (i.e., trusted teacher, coach, guidance counselor who can provide support and willing to intervene for the common good)
- Coordination of resources and services among community agencies (i.e., school counselors)
Family violence refers to abusive behaviors that occur within family or domestic relationships. It involves acts of violence, control, and intimidation directed towards family members, including spouses, children, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, daughters-in-law, and other relatives. Consanguinity and Affinity Chart
Family violence can take various forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, and verbal abuse. It is characterized by a pattern of power and control, where one family member uses abusive tactics to dominate and manipulate others. The abusive behaviors may include physical assault, sexual coercion, emotional manipulation, financial control, threats, intimidation, isolation, and verbal degradation.
The impact of family violence is profound, particularly because the abuse is caused by a trusted person. Family violence can have long-lasting effects on the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of those involved. It can create a climate of fear, undermine trust, and disrupt the overall functioning of the family unit. It is important to recognize that family violence is not limited to specific demographics and can occur across all socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds.
Addressing family violence requires a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, intervention, and support services. It involves promoting awareness, providing resources, and implementing strategies to break the cycle of abuse, protect survivors, and foster healthier and safer family dynamics.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, Your Safe Place can help. Call today and speak with a Client Care Coordinator.
Sexual assault refers to any non-consensual sexual act or behavior in which a person is forced, coerced, or manipulated into engaging in sexual activity against their will. It is a form of sexual violence and may be considered a criminal offense.
Sexual assault can take various forms, including but not limited to:
- Rape: Forced penetration, either vaginal, anal, or oral, without the other person's consent.
- Fondling or groping: Non-consensual touching or groping of intimate body parts.
- Sexual coercion: Pressuring or manipulating someone into engaging in sexual acts against their will.
- Sexual harassment: Unwanted sexual advances, comments, or behaviors that create a hostile or intimidating environment.
- Non-consensual sharing of explicit images: Distributing or posting explicit images or videos of someone without their consent, also known as "revenge porn."
It is important to note that sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or relationship to the perpetrator. Perpetrators can be strangers, but most often are acquaintances, partners, or family members.
Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can have severe and long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological consequences for the survivor. It is important to support survivors, provide them with resources and access to medical care, and work towards preventing sexual violence through education, awareness, and legal measures.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, Your Safe Place can help. Call today and speak with a Client Care Coordinator. Client Care Coordinators can help with safety planning and supportive services. Participating and Non-participating Sexual Assault Forensic Exams are also available at Your Safe Place for certain clients working with law enforcement.
In 2021, the State of California passed Senate Bill 215, which requires law enforcement to provide survivors of sexual assault with information about the progress of their sexual assault kit through the testing process.
San Diego Police Department
To fulfill this requirement, the San Diego Police Department offers a Victim Portal, a secure website that allows survivors to track the progress of their sexual assault kits anonymously and securely. The portal is available for sexual assault kits that were administered after July 1, 2022.
If you've lost your kit number provided to you by the hospital, you can contact Palomar Health at 760-739-2150.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
If you were the victim of a sexual assault and you are interested in knowing the location and status of the DNA test related to your kit, please visit Kitstatus.doj.ca.gov
The Sheriff's Department can also connect you with an investigator.
Call (858) 514-4661 or email KitTestResults@SDSheriff.org
When you call the number or send an e-mail, please be prepared to provide the following information:
- Your name at the time of the assault
- Your contact information (phone number or e-mail address)
- Jurisdiction (city) where the crime took place
- The date or approximate date of the incident
- A case number (if you know it, or other case identifiers)
All information provided to the Sheriff’s Department is confidential and will only be used to locate your case and continue any follow-up related to that case.
Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery involving the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of individuals through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It is a grave violation of human rights and a serious criminal offense.
In sex trafficking situations, people are forced or coerced into engaging in commercial sex acts against their will. They may be subjected to physical and psychological abuse, threats, deception, manipulation, and control by traffickers. The traffickers exploit their vulnerability, often targeting individuals who are economically-disadvantaged, marginalized, or lacking social support systems.
Sex trafficking can involve various forms of exploitation, including prostitution, pornography, online sexual exploitation, and forced participation in the sex industry. Victims may be transported across borders or within the same country, and they are often isolated, controlled, and prevented from seeking help.
Sex trafficking is a global issue that affects individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, and backgrounds.
Potential red flags for sex trafficking include:
- Coercion and control: The individual shows signs of being controlled or influenced by someone else, such as being constantly accompanied by someone who appears to exert control over them or being unable to speak or make decisions independently.
- Restricted freedom of movement: The person may be closely monitored, have limited access to identification or personal documents, or be unable to freely come and go as they please.
- Inability to communicate freely: The individual may appear fearful, anxious, or unable to speak openly. They may be accompanied by someone who answers questions on their behalf or prevents them from speaking for themselves. They may not have access to a phone, computer, or any other means of contacting others.
- Signs of physical abuse or neglect: Visible signs of physical injuries, malnourishment, exhaustion, or untreated health issues may be present. They may also lack access to medical care or have inadequate living conditions.
- Inconsistent or scripted stories: Their stories or explanations may be inconsistent, vague, or rehearsed, potentially indicating they have been coached or pressured to give certain responses.
- Presence of branding or tattoos: Some traffickers use tattoos or branding as a means of control or identification to assert ownership over their victims.
- Financial control: The person may have no control over their own money, appear to be financially exploited, or have all their earnings taken away by someone else.
- Isolation and restricted social interaction: The individual may have limited contact with others, lack social connections, or display signs of fear or anxiety when interacting with strangers.
- Age-inappropriate relationships: The person may be involved in a relationship with a significantly older individual, particularly if there are signs of manipulation or control.
It is important to approach potential trafficking situations with care and sensitivity. If you suspect you may be experiencing sex trafficking, contact Your Safe Place at (619) 533-6000. Sexual assault forensic exams are available at YSP. If you are concerned about your immediate safety, please call 911.
Elder abuse refers to the mistreatment or harm inflicted upon older adults, typically aged 60 or older, by someone in a position of trust or responsibility. It involves actions or omissions that cause physical, emotional, or sexual harm, as well as neglect or abandonment of the elderly individual.
Forms of elder abuse include:
- Physical abuse: Inflicting physical pain or injury, such as hitting, pushing, restraining, or using excessive force against an older person.
- Emotional or psychological abuse: Causing emotional pain, distress, or mental anguish through intimidation, humiliation, threats, insults, or isolation.
- Financial abuse: Exploiting an older person's finances or assets through theft, fraud, manipulation, coercion, or undue influence. This can involve unauthorized use of bank accounts, property, or assets, or forcing the older adult to change their will or grant control over their finances.
- Sexual abuse: Engaging in any non-consensual sexual activity with an older person, including unwanted sexual contact, coercion, or forcing them to view or participate in sexual acts.
- Neglect: Failing to provide adequate care, support, or basic necessities to meet an older person's needs, such as food, shelter, medication and medical care, or hygiene. This could include denying elders of their ability to be mobile, thus stranding them and rendering them unable to care for themselves (i.e., hiding or taking their wheelchair).
- Abandonment: Deserting or intentionally leaving an older person alone without necessary care, supervision, or support.
Elder abuse can occur in various settings, including the elder person's own home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or by individuals known to the victim, such as family members, caregivers, or acquaintances.
Detecting elder abuse can be challenging as victims may be hesitant to report the abuse due to fear, shame, isolation, dependency, or cognitive impairment. It is important for family members, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and community members to remain vigilant and report suspected cases of elder abuse to the appropriate authorities or elder abuse hotlines. Taking action to prevent, address, and raise awareness about elder abuse is crucial to protecting the rights and well-being of older adults.
If you or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, Your Safe Place can help. Call today and speak with a Client Care Coordinator.
The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent. A Gun Violence Restraining Order removes firearms from dangerous situations before a tragedy occurs. Your Safe Place protects clients by referring their cases to the on-site Gun Violence Response Unit (GVRU). The GVRU can assist with obtaining a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), where appropriate. A GVRO can prevent a person from owning or possessing a firearm.
Free Gun Violence consults Monday-Friday 9:00AM-4:00PM. For more information, contact: (619) 533-6000.
Strangulation is a deadly form of domestic violence and sexual assault. It involves compressing the neck to restrict air flow and blood flow to the brain. Strangulation can be done using hands or other objects like ropes or belts. Unlike choking, which blocks the internal airway, strangulation applies external force to the neck. It can cause unconsciousness in seconds and death in 3 to 5 minutes.
Strangulation often leaves no visible, external injuries but can lead to internal injuries that may not show up immediately and may be life-threatening. Previous strangulation is a strong predictor of future violence, including homicide.
Signs and symptoms of strangulation may vary depending on the severity and duration of the incident. Here are some common signs and symptoms that may be observed:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Hoarse voice or changes in vocal quality
- Coughing or wheezing
- Neck pain or tenderness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Facial or tongue swelling
- Bruising or red marks around the neck
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Memory loss or confusion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes in vision, such as blurry vision or seeing spots
- Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
- Changes in behavior or mood, such as agitation or irritability
- Fatigue or weakness
It is important to note that some symptoms may not immediately appear and could manifest later, even up to months or years after the strangulation incident. If you suspect someone has been strangled, it is crucial to seek prompt medical attention, as internal injuries may not be readily visible but can be life-threatening. Forensic exams for those who have been strangled are available through law enforcement at YSP.
If you suspect strangulation, contact Your Safe Place at (619) 533-6000. If you are concerned about your immediate safety, please call 911.