For abuse victims, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the abuse started, or when they began to feel intimidated, fearful, or coerced. For the parent of an abused child, the domestic violence often occurs at a time when that parent is out of the house or in a different room, so it is challenging to assess the damage or whose story to believe.
The effects of domestic violence, however, will show over time as the victim becomes fearful, stops reaching out to friends or other family members, or becomes depressed. In children, these and other telltale signs reveal the damage done by the perpetrators. Those who inflict abuse on their loved ones were often victims of abuse themselves, and so the cycle of abuse can pass through generations.
Domestic violence affects one in three women and one in four men across the county. In California, statistics reveal that 32.9% of women and 27.3% of men have experienced intimate partner domestic violence, and 40% of calls reporting violence involve firearms. For residents of Manhattan Beach and surrounding areas, it is important to know what to do and who to turn to to get out of harm’s way when domestic violence occurs.
Seeking protection for victims of abuse
When a spouse or domestic partner or their children are in immediate danger, they must get out of the house and into the care of family or friends. If this is not possible, going to a shelter or spending the night in a hotel is safer than remaining in the home. If events like this have happened more than once or if law enforcement has come to the home, these incidents will help to establish a record of domestic violence in the home that will be useful later.
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is a court action that prevents immediate harm to the victim or their family. It temporarily prevents an individual from approaching or contacting the victim, and it can also force them to move out of the home.
A TRO also prevents the individual from having a firearm, and can also enforce child custody, support and visitation orders. A TRO is also available in cases of stalking or civil harassment, including threatening actions or unlawful violence, and it can apply to a roommate, co-worker, or neighbor.
Every situation is unique, but in cases of domestic violence it is essential to get help first, and then find out your options for keeping your family safe and permanently ending a dangerous or harmful relationship.