Domestic Violence in California
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Domestic violence, however, does not just include intimate partner violence. In the state of California, domestic violence is threats or abuse from someone you have an intimate relationship with or are related to. This includes not only spouses and significant others, but family members such as parents and siblings.
Furthermore, abuse in California is defined as follows:
- To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury
- To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another
- To engage in other behavior such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, credibly impersonating, falsely personating, harassing, annoying telephoning, destroying personal property, and disturbing the peace of the other party
Being a victim of domestic violence can be incredibly frightening. You might fear for your well-being or even your life; the most important step to take is to get you and other victims to safety. If you are hurt by a family member, the first step is to call the police and find safety. Once that happens, you can begin to take legal action.
The first thing you will want to do is obtain an emergency protective order. That will prohibit the person who abused you from being allowed to go near you without penalty of law. Once that is in place, you should hire an attorney to help you navigate this complicated situation. An attorney can help you get a restraining order to keep you protected once the emergency protective order times out.
Other than an emergency protective order, there are a few other types of restraining orders. Temporary restraining orders are orders that are in place until a hearing date is set. Permanent orders last up to five years and can be extended. Criminal protective orders are in place while the abuser is being prosecuted on charges.
Communicate With Your Employer
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering how you are going to make it through work. Understand that you have the right to accommodations and time off. Your employer can also get a temporary restraining order against your abuser if they know you are facing domestic violence.
Telling others what is going on can be difficult, even if it is for your safety. If you do not want to speak directly to your supervisor, Human Resources can help through this. Accommodations such as a different phone number, a changed work schedule, and a lock install are all efforts your job can make to help keep you safe.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Legal counsel can help not only make sure that you get the protection you need through the court, but that this protection carries over into other areas of your life as well. A lawyer can help guide you in asking for a safer workplace environment. At the end of the day, having an attorney advocate for your safety and well-being is vital as you work on preventing your abuser from ever hurting you again.