In the U.S, there are more than three million incidents of domestic violence a year Every nine seconds, someone is hurt by their partner, and 4,000 victims of domestic violence are killed each year. Statistics show that approximately one-fourth of all relationships include some form of domestic violence.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), establishing that violence against women is a national priority. Domestic violence can include any kind of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse towards a victim. It touches all races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. While progress was made, unfortunately, this form of violence still encroaches on the lives of many innocent victims.

Domestic Violence in California

California Penal Code Section 273.5 criminalizes domestic violence. If battery occurs in the context of a domestic relationship, a prosecutor may also choose to charge a defendant with battery under California Penal Code Section 243(d). If a restraining order is violated, the defendant may face further criminal charges. The decision to prosecute lies solely in the hands of the prosecutor and victims can have no recourse if a prosecutor fails to bring charges in a domestic violence case.  Whether you are seeking protection under a domestic violence restraining order or defending yourself against accusations, contacting a domestic violence attorney can help you understand and protect your rights.

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence does not just take the form of battery and physical harm and may also include:

  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Refusing to leave
  • Constantly checking up on the victim
  • Threats to the victim, children, pets, and family members
  • Threatening with weapons
  • Destruction of property

Under California law, the following crimes may constitute domestic violence:

  • Battery
  • Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant
  • Child abuse
  • Child endangerment
  • Child neglect/failure to provide care
  • Elder abuse
  • Criminal threats
  • Stalking
  • Damaging a telephone line
  • Aggravated trespass
  • Posting harmful information on the internet

Signs of Abuse

Abusers of victims in domestic violence incidents typically become angry with their victims immediately. Oftentimes, they will deny that the abuse happened, or attempt to minimize the event. They will often “gaslight” and blame the victim, others, or something else for the attack. After a domestic violence event, they may express remorse and beg for forgiveness in order to keep the victim in the relationship. This manipulative behavior is just part of the cycle of abuse.

Your Safety is Paramount

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please find shelter for you and your children —  away from danger. Finding a domestic violence shelter near you is imperative to ensure that you are safe from harm. Additionally, the California Women’s Law Center has published a domestic violence handbook to help you through your situation.

An Advocate by Your Side

If you are a victim of domestic violence or you have been accused of a crime of domestic violence, it is critical to consult with an experienced domestic violence attorney right away.

At the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, we are here to help you through this difficult time if you are seeking an order of protection from a violent member or have been falsely accused of domestic abuse. Contact us today for a consultation at 951-888-1574. We are located in Riverside and serve clients throughout Southern California.