Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior that creates a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It is estimated that 10 million people in the United States experience some form of domestic violence every year and that number is tragically growing.
Domestic violence affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality. Sadly, domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death.
Abuse often begins with behaviors that may be easily dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, possessiveness or distrust. Abusers may even apologize for their actions or try to convince the victim that they do these things out of love. However, violence and control most always intensifies over time.
Obviously, physical violence – be it battering or sexual assault – are the most dangerous and overt forms of domestic violence, but it’s important to understand that domestic violence is not always defined by harmful physical acts. Verbal, emotional or psychological attacks can be equally as abusive. Some early warning signs of psychological domestic abuse include:
- Telling the victim that they never do anything right
- Showing jealousy of the victim’s family and friends
- Accusing the victim of cheating
- Embarrassing or shaming the victim with insults
- Controlling every penny spent in the household
- Controlling who the victim sees, where they go or what they do
- Dictating how the victim dresses and appears
- Preventing the victim from making their own decisions
- Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones or pets
- Intimidating the victim with weapons
- Pressuring the victim to have sex or engage in uncomfortable sexual acts
- Preventing the victim from working or attending school
- Destroying the victim’s property
Gaining Protection With a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in Los Angeles
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and orders the abuser to stop any or all of the domestic violence acts, and can also grant the victim several rights under child, property and even animal protection.
Whether or not to file a Temporary Restraining Order which can last up to 25 days or a Permanent Restraining Order which extends the period up to five years, is a decision best made in consultation with a California Family Law attorney to help decipher which kind of DVRO is right for the situation, and make sure the paperwork is properly filed and recorded.
Each type of DVRO contains serious legal penalties to the offender that can include jail time and monetary restitutions if certain guidelines are breached which can include stipulations to:
- Not contact or go near the victim, their children or other relatives
- Not have a gun
- Follow child custody and visitation orders
- Pay child or spousal support
- Stay away from any pets
- Pay certain bills
- Not make any changes to insurance policies or incur large expenses
- Release or return certain property
- Complete a batterer intervention program
Once the court issues a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in Los Angeles or anywhere in California, the order is entered into a statewide computer system that all law enforcement officers can access. In addition, the restraining order works anywhere in the United States. If you move out of California, contact your new local police so they know about your orders. Conversely, those moving to California with a restraining order from another state, should register that order with a California court so that the filing will appear in the statewide domestic violence database.
Beyond the DVRO, a Southern California divorce attorney can assist in further actions regarding the future of the relationship. In any case, the safety of any victim, their children and extended family or friends is the utmost protection that a DVRO can provide, and the Family Law Firm of Leon F. Bennett will ensure.
About the Leon F. Bennett Family Law Firm
With over 35 years of experience in the practice of family law in Southern California, the Family Law Firm of Leon F. Bennett and his seasoned legal team have helped families reach mutually agreeable decisions regarding matters of divorce, custody, support, and the many rights and agreements associated with family law services. We offer a free first-time consultation to qualified candidates.
Beyond our broad scope of family law matters, we handle cases of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in Southern California and the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside and Orange County areas. We represent clients in communities such as Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Westlake Village, Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Pacific Palisades, Ventura County, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Valencia, Northridge, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Contact us today to help find a suitable family law solution with compassion and closure.