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Domestic Violence

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Did You Know...

In California, it is a crime for any person to threaten, beat, sexually assault or otherwise harm another person, even if they are married. Domestic violence is more than just a "family problem," it is a crime.

FACTS

  • Domestic violence affects at least one out of every four American families.
  • Domestic violence is not exclusively a crime against women, but they do constitute the majority of victims.
  • Approximately 30 percent of female homicide victims in the United States are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Females are much more likely than males to be killed by their spouse.

Learn More:

    If You Become a Victim of Domestic Violence

    • Call the police or sheriff immediately!
    • Make sure you are safe from another violent outbreak.  When you believe you are in danger, leave your home and take any children with you.  Also, take important papers such as your birth certificate, vehicle registration, etc.
    • Get medical attention.  Don't try to treat yourself; you may be injured much more seriously than you realize.
    • Seek assistance.  Whether or not you file charges against your batterer, you may need to talk to a professional about your situation.  Contact your local battered women's shelter, women's support group or victim's assistance center.
    • Save all the evidence (proof) you can.  You may even want to take photographs of your injuries.  Whether or not you file charges now, you may later change your mind and will then need proof that you have been assaulted

    Increasing Spiral of Violence

    Once violence has begun, it tends to increase in both frequency and severity. Understanding the psychological consequences of her violent relationship can help the woman take power and choose constructive alternatives, as well as aid those who intervene to help her.

    Three-Phase Theory of Family Violence

    The family violence cycle consists of three phases:

     Phases  Description
    Tension-Building Phase
    During this phase, the woman senses her mate's increasing tension.  He is "edgy" and perhaps challenges her or tells her she is stupid, incompetent, etc.  The woman may internalize her appropriate anger at the unfairness and experience physical effects such as depression, tension, anxiety and headaches.  As the tension in the relationship increases, minor episodes of violence increase such as pinching, slapping or shoving.
    Acute-Battering Incident
    The tension-building phase ends if/when there is an instance of intense violence where the woman may or may not fight back.  Following the battering, she is likely to be in a state of physical and psychological shock.  The abuser may discount the episode and underestimate the woman's injuries.
    Loving Reconciliation
    During the last phase of the domestic violence cycle, both parties typically have a sense of relief that “it's over."  The man is often apologetic for what happened and/or fearful that his partner will leave him.  He may "shower" her with love and praise that helps repair her self-esteem. Sentiments from the abuser such as "I can't live without you" may cause the victim to feel responsible for her abuser's wellbeing, and she may blame herself for what led to the abuse.

    Why Do They Stay?

    While reasons range from children, love, guilt, fear, pride, embarrassment and/or financial dependence, it is very possible the victim is unaware that she is locked into a violence cycle.

    A Way Out

    Everyone has the right to be safe from threats and beatings, but you must take the first step.  Once you recognize that it isn't your fault and that it is possible to change your situation, seek the help you need to correct your situation.
    Help is available!

    sITUATION
    wHAT TO DO
    If you're in danger Call 9-1-1
    If you're the victim of domestic violence
    Call the police and report the crime
    For information about temporary shelter Contact the House of Ruth at 909-988-5559
    If you have been sexually assaulted
    You may obtain counseling services from Project Sister at
    909-626-4357
    24-hour referral information Dial 2-1-1 or visit 211LA.org
    Court Orders

    Contact the Los Angeles County Superior Court clerk at
    909-620-3020 or 909-620-3023 for information about court orders.

     

    A court order can:

    • Restrain the attacker from abusing you or other family members
    • Prevent the attacker from entering the victim's residence, school or place of employment
    • Award temporary custody of children and your home
    • Directs both parties to attend counseling
    • Direct persons to pay child or spousal support