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San Diego Resources for Victims of Domestic Violence Available During COVID 19

Domestic violence may be on the rise given the stress and pressures of forced cohabitation and economic distress and increases in intake of drugs and/or alcohol. Domestic violence can occur to victims of all ages, genders, races and nationalities. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office has recommendations for resources if you, or someone you know, is being abused by domestic violence. They recommend, if you are in immediate danger, to call 911. This call to the police will summon aid immediately. If you are not in immediate danger, they recommend calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. There are multiple languages available and they also have an online chat. The Hotline is answered by Counselors trained in Domestic Violence issues and concerns and this is available seven days per week [twenty four hours per day]. The Hotline call is confidential and you may receive a referral for services in San Diego. Their staff can also assist with safety planning, support and education for domestic violence victims. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has represented victims of DV in San Diego Family Law Court in cases involving custody and visitation as well as temporary restraining orders. A no cost consultation up to 30 minutes in their office can be scheduled by calling 800-769-4748.

There are many free resources in San Diego for DV victims. Below is a partial list with phone numbers for your reference for domestic violence. Check their availability during this COVID 19 medical pandemic. The phone number for the San Diego County YWCA: Central Division is 619-234-3164. The phone number for the San Diego Family Justice Center: Central Division is 619-533-6000. There are two Centers for Community Solutions located in East County and North County. The court houses served at El Cajon and Vista. Their phone numbers are [east county] 619-697-7477 and [north county] 760-747-6282. The Family Law Facilitator has offices in all of the San Diego Court Houses and offers assistance at no charge for family law cases in San Diego and can assist victims of domestic violence as well. An attorney can also assist you.

For many victims of DV, immediate safety and protection from danger is paramount. For many, financial resources are an issue and some victims may also be abused financially by not having access to funds or vehicle and no way to move to safety as have no money. There are Abuse Shelter’s in San Diego County and they provide different services. For example, the YWCA of San Diego County offers the following services: emergency; financial and legal assistance; counseling; housing; support; community education and also services for children. Their Hotline number is above. The Haven of Hope also have emergency shelters with services including some that the YWCA offers and their contact number is 619-687-3720. Big Sister League can be reached at 619-297-1172 and offers similar services. Again, as per the above, if you are in immediate danger, call the police at 911. You may also call the Access & Crisis 24 Hour Hotline at their toll free number of 888-724-7240.

A safety plan is recommend by domestic violence experts including the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Their template safety plan includes, but is not limited, to the following issues. It is recommended to prepare a personalized domestic violence safety plan for yourself. There are some common steps in the plan and these are listed below. First, have a safety plan during a violent incident. For example, if you leave, where will you go and who will you contact. Second, what is your safety pln when preparing to leave. For example, should you leave an extra set of car keys and/or money with a trusted relative or neighbor or friend. Third, what plan do you have for safety in your residence? For example, if you are divorced and have been a victim of domestic violence by your ex spouse, you may want to consider an alarm system. Many now have video capabilities to record and these are of great evidentiary use in family law court in San Diego for documenting conduct. In Court, many times, abusers lie and the Judge was not present and injustices can [and do] occur. Fourth, do you need a safety plan with an order of protection? In this analysis, initially, is do you need a restraining order? If so, do you have evidence to meet your burden of proof in Court? If so, and a restraining order is granted, what can you do to help protect yourself. For example, it is a good idea to have a copy of the restraining order [whether permanent or temporary] on your person and in your house and in your car and make sure registered with the appropriate law enforcement agency. Fifth, what is your safety plan at your employment and in public. For example, should you change your financial institution and not use same bank as the other spouse or parent? Sixth, what is your safety plan when there is alcohol and/or drug use? For example, if you have minor children, what will your safety plan do to include them? Seventh, what is your safety plan for your emotional health? This is an area which is very important since being a victim of DV can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Eighth, what is your plan for items to take when leaving? These may need to be placed in one location for easy access during DV incident. There are too many examples to list but medications are always necessary. Last, what telephone numbers do you need to know. Now, you can obtain the phone numbers by internet search as well as the phone numbers provided in this article.

Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist you with legal advice and also legal representation. Each case is different and unique however the laws which apply to each case are the same. An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this complicated area of the law. You do not have to go through this alone and please feel free to avail yourself of the resources listed above and, of course, you are encouraged to research yourself as well.

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