Domestic Violence

San Diego Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team

If You or Someone You Know Is Being Abused
You may call the San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-DVLINKS (1-888-385-4657). The hotline is answered by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is bilingual, confidential and referrals may be provided for services in every region of the County. It offers information such as DV shelter bed availability, counseling referrals, batterer's treatment information, and assistance with safety planning.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), includes a pattern of abusive behaviors that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

California law refers to domestic violence as abuse committed against an adult or minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship (PC 13700 (b)). "Abuse" means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.

Victims of domestic violence can include women and men of any age, race, religion, socio-economic status, education, or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, stalking, or financial abuse. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, frighten, terrorize, injure or wound someone. It can happen to couples who are or were married, living together or who are dating, or who have ended relationships.

Family Protection Division

The Family Protection Division of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office prosecutes crimes of murder, domestic violence, stalking, crimes against children, and elder abuse. The division strongly supports victims of crime and works closely with criminal justice agencies and community partners. The division is led by Chief Tracy Prior and Assistant Chief Kurt Mechals. The division includes 37 deputy district attorneys, 11 investigators, 12 paralegals, and 29 other staff members who are stationed downtown as well as in each Branch office in the County. During 2009, the division issued 631 felony cases of domestic violence, over 2,095 domestic violence misdemeanors, 229 child abuse cases, 206 elder abuse cases, 205 internet crimes against children, and numerous other significant criminal cases. The Family Protection Division strongly supports victims of crime, and works closely with criminal justice agencies and community partners.

Today's misdemeanor can be tomorrow's homicide. The DA's Office has 37 specially-trained DDAs across the county handling only misdemeanor cases, from the earliest stage (issuing) all the way through the trial. This vertical handling of the caseload ensures better courtroom efficiency, better perpetrator accountability, and better victim safety.

If you are a victim, or know someone who is a victim of family violence, don't hesitate to call the Domestic Violence hotline to get help, 24 hours a day at 888-DV-LINKS.

If you have question about your case or if you would like to speak to one of our victim advocates, we are available to assist you. DA Victim Advocates can provide assistance with crisis intervention, emergency assistance (housing, food, medical care, etc.), assistance with filing for Crime Compensation Claims, and provide community resource referrals.

You may reach the Family Protection Division at (619) 531-4300.

Family Protection Pages

Victim Services

Other Information

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes physical contact that results in injury. For example: Hitting, punching, choking (strangulation), pushing, slapping, denial of needed medical care or other basic needs (food, housing, water, sleep). This may be by use of hand(s) or other weapons such as a firearm, knife, object (bat, book, lamp, shoe, plate, etc).

Emotional Abuse

Behavior that threatens, intimidates, undermines the victim's self-worth or self-esteem, or controls the victim's freedom. For example: Humiliation, controlling what you can or cannot do, deliberating making you feel diminished, isolating you from friends or family, denying you access to money or other basic resources, undermining yourself worth, threatens to harm or kill you, threatens or actual harms your children, pets or other family members, constant criticism, use of the children against you.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse may be taking place if your partner controls your money and other economic resources. For example: Withholding money at will and forcing you to beg for the money, putting you on an "allowance," preventing you from finishing your education or from gaining employment, intentionally misusing family resources.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves any situation in which force is used to compel you to engage in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity against your will, whether or not the act is completed. For example: Non-consensual forced physical contact, unwanted touching, sexual kissing, wanting you to dress in a sexual way with which you are not comfortable, insulting you in sexual ways, calling you sexual names, forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts, demanding sex when you are sick, tired or after beating you, ignoring your feelings about sex, hurting you with weapons or objects during sex.

Learn more about domestic violence here: Domestic Violence E-Learning
Print a Certificate of Completion when you have finished the training.


For information on Stalking, visit our Stalking Unit page.

Other San Diego Domestic Violence Resources

San Diego Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team
San Diego Regional Domestic Violence Informational Guide : Domestic violence Resource Phone Numbers and Information on Safety Planning, Jail Notification, Domestic Violence Shelters, Ordering Police Reports, Confidential Mailing Address Program (Safe at Home), and Obtaining a Restraining Order.
San Diego Domestic Violence Council
San Diego Family Justice Center
San Diego Superior Court - Restraining Order Clinic Information
Victim Information and Notification Every Day
County Office of Violence Prevention