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Domestic Violence / Adult Abuse Information
Domestic Violence and Adult Abuse are Crimes. Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses, coerces, or places you in fear of harm, either with or without a weapon, has broken the law. Criminal charges may be filed against you abuser.
IF YOU'RE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CALL 634-6400 OR 911 FOR AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE SAFE.
Things to Remember
Your are not alone. Many people just like you are, or have been, battered. Help is available.
You have the right to a safe and healthy relationship...free from violence and free from fear.
You are not the cause of someone else's violent behavior.
You do not deserve to be abused.
You have the RIGHT to expect and demand help and respect.
You have the right to thing, feel, and make choices and changes.
Domestic violence is about power and control. It uses violence or the threat of violence and intimidation to gain that power.
Physical Abuse: Slapping, punching, hitting, shoving, biting, kicking, withholding sleep or medicines.
Mental/Emotional Abuse: Insults, put-downs, threats, not allowing you time with others, making you ask permission to do things with others.
Sexual Abuse: Forcing you to submit to any kind of sexual activity, forcing or withholding birth control.
Economic Abuse: Not allowing you to work, stealing, destroying your things, withholding money and basic needs.
Abuser often try to blame their behavior on someone else, usually the person that they're abusing. Don't believe this. The abuse is not your fault? There is no excuse for abuse, and any blame for abusive behavior belongs only to the abuser, not to you.
Domestic violence occurs in cycles that get worse each time.
Phase 1 TENSION BUILDING: May begin with anger, blaming, and increased feelings of tension.
Phase 2 VIOLENCE: May be a slap or push, or hours of beating or sexual abuse
Phase 3 HONEYMOON: The batterer may deny or excuse his violence, ask forgiveness, or promise never to do it again, but it will happen again, and it is usually worse each time.
Each time the Cycle is repeated, the violence gets worse. The end result can be death.
Being prepared for the Next Time
1. Plan the fastest way out of the house. If you need to sneak away, be prepared.
2. You can request a court order for a law enforcement stand-by or escort while you leave.
3. Plan where you would go in an emergency (e.g. friends, family, neighbors, RACS)
4. Teach your kids to use 911. Tell them their job is to stay safe, not to protect you, and identify a safe place for them (e.g. a room with a lock, a friend's, etc.)
5. Hide an extra set of car keys. Put aside emergency money as you can.
6. Keep an emergency bag ready, including needed medicine, driver's license, birth certificate, social security cards, citizenship documents, spare cash, checkbook, credit cards (or list of them), bank account information, extra clothes for you and your kids.
7. Tell a trusted neighbor of your situation and arrange a signal or code to use when you're in danger (e.g. porch light on in daytime, certain window shades down.)