Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, includes a pattern of abusive behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over one’s 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.

RESOURCES


If You or Someone You Know Is Being Abused

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

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224)
Multiple languages available.
Chat Online: http://www.thehotline.org/
The hotline is answered by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is confidential and referrals may be provided for services in every region of the County. Staff can provide support, education and safety planning.

   
San Diego County DA’s Office – Victim Advocates

For information on Stalking, visit our Stalking Unit page.

Printable Guides & Brochures
If You Are Interested in Learning More About Domestic Violence

Definitions

Physical abuse: Physical abuse includes physical contact that results in injury. For example, hitting, punching, strangulation (“choking”), 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 (ex. bat, book, lamp, shoe, plate, etc.).

Emotional Abuse: Behavior that threatens, intimidates, undermines your self-worth or self-esteem, or controlling your 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 your self-worth, threatening to harm or kill you, threatening or actual harm to 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 that 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.

Stalking: Stalking involves willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harassing another person. Making credible threats with intent to place other person in reasonable fear for their safety or safety of their immediate family.