Where to Go for Help:
- Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Hotline (24 Hours) 800-978-3600
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (24 Hours) 800-799-7233
- Victims-Witness Protection Plan 800-380-3811
- 211 Los Angeles County Information Call Center
- 311 City of Los Angeles Service Helpline
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence can take different forms, but the goal is always the same; batterers want to control their partners through fear. They do this by regular abuse physically, sexually, psychologically, and economically.
Here are the forms that abuse can take:
- Physical Abuse: hitting, kicking, strangulation, pushing, and punching
Verbal Abuse: yelling, name calling, swearing, silence, and humiliating remarks
- Sexual Abuse: forcing sex, demanding sex acts against their will, and degrading treatment
- Isolation: keeping partners from family and friends, monitoring calls and mail, and limiting partner movement and travel
- Coercion: making the partner feel guilty, pushing partner to make bad decisions, involving the children and family members to be on their side, and making “rules” only to punish the partner
My partner does not hit me, but it is still abuse.
- Harassment: Stalking and constant checking up on the victim
- Economic Control: Not paying the bills, not letting the victim work or get money, and refusing to work and support the family
- Abusing Trust: lying, breaking promises, being unfaithful, overly jealous, and withholding information
- Threats and Intimidation: Threats to harm the victim, children, family and pets. Keeping weapons and threatening to use them
- Emotional Withholding: name calling, not taking the victim seriously, and rejecting the victims feelings and emotions
- Destruction of Property: breaks the furniture, punching walls, throwing things, and breaking the dishes
- Self Destructive Behavior: Abusing drugs or alcohol, threatening suicide, driving reckless, and looking for trouble
Legal Services for Victims and Survivors
Immigration Center for Women and Children
Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse
Los Angeles Office
634 South Spring Street, Suite 727,
Los Angeles, CA, 90014,
San Francisco Office
3543 18th Street, Mailbox 32,
San Francisco, CA, 94110,
San Diego Office
427 C street, Suite 208,
San Diego, CA, 92101,
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
Mission is to achieve social justice and equity in partnership with farm workers and the underserved in rural communities through legislative, legal, and community advocacy. Our goal is to help rural communities to improve their economic, social, and political conditions.
2210 K Street, Suite 201,
Sacramento, CA, 95816,
UC Immigrant Legal Services Center
Free legal services are made available to students and their families at each of the nine University of California Campuses.
University of California, Davis,
School of Law, King Hall,
400 Mrak Hall Drive, Davis, CA,
Counseling Services for Victims and Survivors
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Counseling for Domestic Violence Survivors
On-line Chat and Referrals
Live-Chat and Referrals
Center for Community Solutions-San Diego Region
Women Shelter of Long Beach
Centro de Desarrollo Familiar-Huntington Park
Cuatro Caminos-Los Angeles
Clinica Romero-Los Angeles
East Los Angeles Women’s Center-East Los Angeles
Chicana Service Action Center-East Los Angeles
San Fernando Valley Counseling Center
Foothill Family Service-San Gabriel Valley
Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita
Casa De La Familia-Orange County
The Latina Center-Contra Costa County
Community Solutions-Santa Clara County
Don’t Believe these Domestic Violence Myths:
Myth #1: Domestic Violence is just a momentary loss of temper.
This is a technique used to enforce control through the use of fear. It will happen again.
Myth #2: Domestic Violence only happens in poor families.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of wealth, race, and gender.
Myth #3: Domestic Violence is just an occasional slap or punch, it is not that serious.
Victims are often seriously injured or killed. Over 30% of all women seeking emergency hospital care are victims of abuse by their partner. Abuse by strangulation increases the victims death by 700%
Myth #4: Heads of households have the right to control the people they support.
No partner in a domestic relationship has the right to control the other partner or their children.
Myth #5: The victim can always walk away from the relationship
Victims usually do not have a safe place to go. Because the abuser controls the partners relationships, money, and communications, the batterer can follow and find them. A partner with children has a harder time finding a safe place.
Myth #6: If the batterer is truly sorry and promises to change, the abuse will stop.
Being sorry and begging forgiveness are part of the plan to keep control of the victim. The abuser rarely stop without intervention.
Myth #7: If the violent episodes don’t happen very often, the situation is not that serious.
Even if the violence is not regular, the threat of violence is always present. The fear that it will happen again, is the control they seek.
Myth #8: Victims have the types of personalities that seek out and encourage abuse.
Studies have shown that there are no set of personalities traits that make them prone to abuse. It is the batterer who is responsible for the abuse, not the victim.
Who are the abusers?
- Have very short fuses and get angry easily
- Deny that abuse took place
- Blames the victim
Abusers don’t act because they are “out of control”:
- Abusers choose to act violently
- Abusers know what they are doing and what they want from their victims
- Abusers are not helpless or act due to stress or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Abuse is a learned behavior:
- It is NOT normal to behave in a violent manner
- Violence is learned from seeing abuse being a successful tool of control in the home at an early age
- Express remorse and beg forgiveness through affection and loving gestures
- Be hard workers and good providers to the family
- Be fun, exciting, attractive, and very loving to parents
Who are the victims?
- Children can be direct and indirect victims of abuse
- Teenagers Experience Dating Violence
- Domestic Violence occurs in Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender
- Elderly People can be victims
- Victims are not to blame for the violence
How to help a friend who is a domestic violence victim:
- Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject. Let them know that you can see what is happening and offer to help.
- Recognize that they are in a very difficult and scary situation. Let them know it is not their fault.
- Do not buy into their denial. Express that you are concerned and willing to help.
- Respect their right to make their own decisions. Listen, listen, and listen.
- Look into how you can help them with their decision. There are many resources available, search the internet or ask for more help.
- Go with them when they decide to seek help but let them do the talking.
- Help them with a safety plan when they decide to leave; where to go, what to take, and next steps to independence.
How to stay safe while you are in a abusive relationship:
- Memorize the telephone numbers of friends and family that you can call in a emergency. Do not rely on your mobile cell phone
- Teach your children to use emergency numbers and how to dial 911.
Keep a pre-paid calling card or change with you for emergency calls.
- If you can, open your own bank account with a debt card.
- Stay in touch with friends and family. Get to know your neighbors.
- Plan and rehearse your escape plan until you know it by heart.
- Lease a set of car keys, extra money, change of clothes for you and children with a trusted friend.
- Pull together important documents like birth certificates, children’s school records, bank accounts, passports or green cards, insurance papers, and a diary of abuse. Keep these documents with your trusted friend.
Safety after you have left the relationship:
- Change the locks
- Install security features in your home including metal doors/gates, security alarms, and outside lights
- Let the neighbors know that your former partner is not welcome in your home. Ask them to call the police if they see this person around your home.
- Let the school, day care, and others know who has permission to pick up your children.
- Obtain a restraining order and share copies with family and friends to show the police if needed.
- Let your co-workers know your situation and to warn you if this person shows up at your work.
- Avoid the stores, banks, and places that you shared with your partner.
- Get counseling for you and your children.
Additional information about domestic violence is available from these resources.
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 1798
Sacramento, CA. 95812-1789
National Council Against Domestic Violence
One Broadway, Suite B-210
Denver, CO 80203
Futures without Violence
100 Montgomery Street, The. Presidio
San Francisco, CA. 94129-1718
National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
125 South 9th Street, Suite 302
Philadelphia, PA 19107
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
240 West 35th Street, Suite 200
New York, NY 10001