The Procedure Task Force and the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Practice will sponsor two statewide public hearings this month to obtain feedback on proposed practices and draft guidelines intended to improve the handling of domestic violence allegations by California Courts.
During both hearings, testimony will be heard from different speakers, such as family law attorneys, judges, prosecutors, advocacy, groups, criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, batterer intervention program providers, probation officers, other experts, and the public.
The purpose is to improve usage of Domestic Violence Prevention Act restraining orders, court leadership, entering the orders into California’s database, criminal law procedures, and firearms relinquishment.
The American Bar Association offers the following suggestions for Domestic Violence prevention:
Know What Domestic Violence Is
When spouses, intimate partners, or dates use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior of their partners, they are committing domestic violence. Most victims of domestic violence are women. Children who witness domestic violence are also victims; they suffer from behavioral and cognitive problems. Boys, especially, are more likely to be aggressive and engage in criminal behavior if they grow up in homes where domestic violence exists.
Develop A Safety Plan
If you, a relative, a friend, or a neighbor are experiencing domestic violence, think about ways to make yourself safer. Leave a spare set of keys, emergency money, important phone numbers, and documents like birth certificates, passports, bankbooks, and insurance papers in a safe place your batterer doesn’t know about, for example, with a trusted friend or relative. Plan how to get out of your home quickly and safely, should a battering incident begin. Think about a safe place to go to once you leave your home. If you can, learn local crisis hotline numbers, so that you can call for advice or assistance.
If you are being battered — or you know that a relative, friend, or neighbor is being battered by a spouse or intimate partner — call the police right away for help, if you can get to a phone safely. Don’t be afraid to ask for immediate help. Domestic violence is a crime, not a “private family matter.”
Exercise Your Legal Rights
You — or anyone else experiencing domestic violence — have the right to go to court and petition for an order of protection if you have been battered in one of the fifty states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. In most parts of the country, you can also ask for custody of your children and child support at the same time. You should try to get a lawyer to represent you and protect all of your rights under the law. Call your state or local coalition against domestic violence, a state or local crisis hotline, or the state or local bar association to learn more about where to find legal help.
Get Help For Your Family So That The Violence Will Stop
There are many services available to help families struggling with domestic violence. Look in the phone book for the number of your state or local domestic violence coalition or crisis hotline for help in locating the financial, housing, and counseling services needed to break free of domestic violence.
At Sagaria Law, P.C., we can help you file a temporary restraining order if you have been a victim of domestic violence in Monterey County, Santa Clara County, and Alameda County. Many of our clients come from the cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Dublin, Salinas, Carmel, and the surrounding areas. Contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today to speak with a family law attorney and schedule your free consultation.
Public Hearings on Domestic Violence Cases, Yubanet.com, March 1, 2007
Five Ways to Eliminate Domestic Violence, American Bar Association
Related Web Resources:
Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment