4 Immediate Actions Every Domestic Violence Victim Should Take

January 22, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone
By Law Offices of James V. Sansone on January 22, 2013 8:00 AM |

index.jpgDomestic violence touches every income strata and race. Judges, lawyers, police officers and even a well-known NFL player - Chad Johnson - have faced charges and made headlines.

Nationally, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year and 73% of those victims are female.

Domestic Violence, Battery & Willful Infliction of Bodily Injury

In California, domestic violence is defined as physical abuse committed against someone you know: a spouse, boyfriend, roommate, or someone you're dating. When arrested, abusers face incarceration and a fine.

Battery is any willful use of force or violence against another individual. Generally, the penalty is a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. When committed against someone with a restraining order, a police officer or a probation department employee, the consequences are more severe. In addition, the courts may force defendants to pay an added fee that funds domestic violence prevention programs. (Calif. Penal Code Sections 243, 1463.27)

Willful infliction of bodily injury occurs when abuse results in a wound or injury. Penalties include up to five years in prison, and depending on the circumstances, a hefty fine of up to $10,000.

California Domestic Violence Statistics

• In California, one forcible rape occurs every 56 minutes; victims are both men and women.
• In 2008, 99 women were killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends in California and 14 men were killed by their wives, ex-wives or girlfriends.
• California law enforcement received 166,343 domestic violence calls in 2008 of which 65,219 calls involved weapons, including firearms and knives.

What You Should Do if You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence

• Call 911 and report the incident.
• Seek medical attention and, if possible, document the wounds.
• Find a safe place to stay with a friend or relative, or contact your local domestic violence hotline.
• Get a restraining order to prevent a reoccurrence.

What to Do if You are Wrongly Accused of Domestic Violence

• Document every event leading up to the false allegation.
• Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
• Do not speak with law enforcement without an attorney being present.
• Do not contact your accuser for any reason.

Do you have questions about domestic violence, rape, battery, or family law? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.

The Law Offices of James V. Sansone offers a full range of family law legal services including paternity. We are located in Santa Rosa, California and serve clients throughout Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County, including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, and Kelseyville.