What Should I Do If I'm a Victim of Domestic Violence?

Some people are victims of domestic violence without even realizing it. The abuse starts out small, but over the years it escalates. What started as a little shove here in there turned into a kick or a punch and even though the abuser says, "It'll never happen again," it inevitably does.

You might even be confused about what constitutes violence. Would the police and the courts agree that you are a victim?

According to the California courts, domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse against a spouse, child, family member or member of the same household. It can also occur between people who have a child together.

Domestic violence includes:

  • Sexual assault
  • Intentionally or recklessly hurting someone
  • Threatening to hurt someone
  • Destroying a person's personal property
  • Hitting, punching, kicking
  • Pulling hair
  • Throwing things
  • Scaring someone
  • Following the victim
  • Harassing behavior or stalking

Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse, it can be emotional, verbal, or psychological as well. Abusers often use a combination of tactics to control and overpower their victims.

What should I do?

If your spouse physically injures you or your children, call the police. If it's late at night or on the weekend, and it's necessary, the police can contact a judicial officer and ask them to issue an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) immediately.

The EPO would prohibit your spouse from coming near you. If you have children, it may give you temporary custody of the kids and bar your spouse from returning home. EPOs are in effect for five court days, or seven calendar days, whichever comes first.

To obtain a longer-lasting restraining order, you'd need to ask for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and our firm can help you with that.

Contact Claery & Hammond, LLPfor Help

If you're a victim of domestic violence and considering divorce, contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney from our firm for help. In a free case evaluation, we will answer your questions and do everything we can to help you through this process.