In recent decades, women and men have increasingly had the courage to come out and tell their stories of domestic violence so that we as a society will no longer tolerate the rampant epidemic of violence within the home. As a result of their courage, more and more people are beginning to understand that domestic violence is a crime and that help is available through the courts. But the most recent statistics demonstrate that domestic violence remains a widespread and all too often deadly problem in California. If you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who might be, you should do everything you can to take action immediately to get help through the police and court system, which includes obtaining a temporary restraining order.
Domestic Violence in California
The most recent statistics from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence indicate that 40% of women in California have experienced domestic violence, with women ages 18-24 11% more likely than those in other age groups to be victims. Sadly, the statistics demonstrate that women are usually not the only persons in a home vulnerable to a domestic abuser, as a full three-quarters of female victims of domestic violence had a child under the age of 18 at home as well.
The statistics also bear out the fact that the violence and threats that women face across the state is often deadly. Of those incidents of domestic violence that are reported to law enforcement authorities - approximately 175,000 per year - a full 40% of involve the use of a weapon. And, tragically, 113 people in California died from domestic violence in the last year statistics were made available, 99 of them women.
How to Obtain a Temporary Restraining Order in California
Because domestic violence can have disastrous consequences and should never be tolerated, victims should obtain all the protection they can get, and, if you are aware of domestic violence, you should encourage and work with a domestic violence victim to obtain relief from the courts. A California family law court will issue a temporary restraining order preventing an abuser from being in the same location as the victim without giving notice to the abuser, meaning the victim can go to court to receive the order without the abuser knowing about it until the time the order is issued. The steps in obtaining a temporary restraining order in California are:
- Fill out California’s Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order Form. Your attorney can work with you to collect the proper information and fully document the necessary information on the form to clearly state your case for why a temporary restraining order is necessary.
- File the Form With the Court. Your attorney will file this form with the court.
Appear Before a Judge. You do not always have to appear before a judge to obtain a temporary restraining order, but a judge may ask you to do so in some cases to gather further information. Your lawyer can appear with you, but the abuser will not have knowledge of the hearing or be invited to attend.
- Serve the Order on the Abuser. Once the judge grants the temporary restraining order, your attorney can serve the order on the abuser. If that person violates the order, e.g. by coming to your home, the police may arrest the abuser for violating the order.
Get Legal Assistance Today for a California Temporary Restraining Order
By working with an experienced family law attorney, you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to get assistance from the courts and law enforcement in obtaining and enforcing a domestic violence restraining order. To schedule a consultation, contact one of the family law attorneys at Kearney Baker today at 626-768-2945.