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Domestic Violence Prevention

Domestic Violence Prevention

Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of assault and/or coercive behaviors that may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Domestic violence affects victims in all walks of life, regardless of race, social status, or economic status. Unlike most other crimes, victims of family violence are victimized by those they trust and love. Victims may experience a wide variety of emotions and may be confused by feelings of fear, loyalty, love, guilt, and shame. They are torn between the desire to protect and help a loved one, and their responsibility to their own safety as well as the safety of any other family members in the household. Violence in the home affects everyone in the household, and unfortunately this is the reason it perpetuates in our society.

Fortunately, recent changes in the law have been enacted to help protect victims and end the cycle of violence. The attitude of the Pacific Grove Police Department is that domestic violence is a crime and must be treated as such. The purpose of this brochure is to educate and empower those whose lives have been touched by family violence. Included within, you will find information and resources regarding the law and local agencies that can offer assistance. If you have questions, or need additional assistance, you may contact the Domestic Violence Unit of the Pacific Grove Police Department at (831) 648-3143. If you are a victim of violence, or fear for your safety or the safety of another due to domestic violence, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will Pacific Grove Police Department do?

First, the responding officers will stop any violence occurring and make sure the scene is safe for everyone present, including victims, other household members, and the officers themselves. Then they will gather information about the situation and decide what should be done next. Depending on the circumstances, an arrest may be made. If the situation does not warrant an arrest, the officers will assist you with resources and other alternatives that may be considered. If there is no arrest made, ask the officer to document the incident with a police report anyway.

When can the police make an arrest?

In most circumstances involving domestic violence, an officer will make an arrest when he/she has probable cause to believe a crime has occurred. Under many circumstances, an officer may be mandated to make an arrest. There are a number of laws, both misdemeanor and felony, that address domestic violence. The officers on scene will assess the circumstances and take action based on the applicable laws. Please understand the officers must act based upon legal and departmental guidelines, and cannot make discretionary decisions in these cases.

What happens when an arrest is made?

When an arrest is made, the person arrested will be taken to the Monterey County Jail and booked. Regardless of whether the case is a misdemeanor or felony, the arrested party will be required to post a bail bond in order to be released. A bail bond is an amount of money the court requires a defendant to forfeit in order to assure the defendant will appear in court. Required bail amounts vary depending upon the crime involved. If the defendant cannot post bond, he/she will be held until arraignment, usually within a couple of days. If the defendant is able to post bond, he/she will be released with a "stay away" order. This is a temporary order that assists the victim by restraining the perpetrator from having any contact with the victim, including telephonic contact or e-mail, until the perpetrator is arraigned in court. When a bond is posted, the Pacific Grove Police Department will attempt to notify the victim that the perpetrator is being released. If the victim is contacted or harassed by the perpetrator in any way, he/she should notify the police immediately. In that case, the police can re-arrest the perpetrator on a new criminal charge requiring an additional bail bond.

What happens next?

The police officers will complete a police report and forward it to the District Attorney's office. The District Attorney's office has a unit specifically trained to handle domestic violence cases. One of the attorneys in that unit will review the case and file the appropriate charges with the court. The case will then move forward through the court system. Our justice system is a complicated system, and it may be some time before the case is resolved. The Victim/Witness program at the District Attorney's Office can assist you with any questions you have regarding the court proceedings. That unit can be reached during business hours at (831) 755.5072. Their phone number is also listed in the resource section of this brochure.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a court order that restricts a person's actions. There are different kinds of orders available, some of which are civil orders and some which are criminal protective orders that arise from court proceedings related to a criminal case. If you have been threatened, abused, harassed, or assaulted, you can obtain an order to protect yourself and your family. There are local agencies that can assist you in obtaining a restraining order or an order of protection. Those agencies are also listed in the resource section of this brochure. You may also contact a private attorney of your choice to assist with this.

What do I do if the person violates the order?

Notify the police immediately! When possible, the police will make an arrest. If it is not possible to make an immediate arrest, such as when a perpetrator calls or e-mails the victim from an unknown location, ask the officer to complete a report and forward it for prosecution. The case will then be forwarded to the District Attorney's office for a complaint to be filed. A warrant will then be issued for the perpetrator's arrest. It will be helpful to the officer if you obtain a copy of the order and keep it with you, but it is not necessary for the officer to take action.

What if the order was issued in another state?

The nation's Violence Against Women Act requires every jurisdiction in the United States to recognize and enforce any valid protection order issued by any state, tribal government, the District of Columbia, or by any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States. If the order is current, valid, and issued in one of these jurisdictions, it will be enforced by responding officers.

What can I do if the police do not make an arrest and I feel they should have?

You may ask to speak with the on duty field supervisor for the Pacific Grove Police Department, or call the field supervisor's office at (831) 648-3143.

Are there other remedies available?

Yes, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages for any losses you have suffered as a result of abuse, including medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses for injuries suffered or property damaged as a result of abuse.

What other resources are available?

There are a number of local agencies that can provide you assistance. They are listed below.

  • Victim/Witness Assistance Program: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, (831) 755-5072. This agency provides assistance with your court case involving proceedings, return of property, restitution, referral to community agencies and the state victim compensation program. For information about other services available in this community, you may contact someone at this program who will advise you.
  • Rape Crisis Center: 24-hour service, (831) 375-4357. This agency provides support and counseling through a variety of services to the victims of sexual assault.
  • YWCA Shelter Services: 24-hour service, (831) 372-6300 or 800-YWCA151. This agency can assist with domestic violence problems including emergency family shelter and counseling. For further information regarding a shelter or safe house near you, you may contact this agency. For assistance with restraining orders, refer to the number below.
  • YWCA Restraining Order Services: (831) 649-0834. This agency can help you obtain a restraining order for the protection of you and your family. They can also provide support, advocacy, and assistance with counseling services.
  • VINE Offender Information Program: 24-hour service. This is a free, anonymous service that allows you to check on the custody status of an offender. VINE can be utilized at any time by any touch tone phone. You may also register to receive a notification call when an offender is released or otherwise discharged from custody. To utilize this service, call toll free 877-331-8463 and follow the prompts. Monterey County, as well as several neighboring counties currently participate in the VINE Program.
  • California Rural Legal Assistance: (831) 757-5221. This agency can provide you with referrals for legal assistance and restraining orders.
  • Suicide Prevention: (831) 375-6966. This agency can assist with crisis intervention, counseling, and referrals for mental health services.

What other resources are available to assist the batterers?

  • Men's Alternative to Violence: (831) 443-6288. This agency provides the court mandated counseling required of offenders. This agency also provides counseling services to anyone in the general public voluntarily seeking counseling services. Counseling topics include behavior modification and courses in anger management.
  • Family Service Agency: (831) 757-7915. This agency can provide low cost family counseling, including batterer's treatment programs for men and women, parent education, support groups, and a supervised visitation program.

What is the victim's compensation program?

The State of California has funds available to aid victims of violent crimes. These funds can be applied to any financial loss suffered by the victim. They can also be applied to the cost of relocation assistance and other programs designed to protect the victim from further violence. You may apply if you are a victim of violent crime or if you are legally dependent on the victim for support. If the victim is deceased, anyone who pays the burial or medical expenses may file. If the victim is a minor, the parent or guardian of the victim must apply for the child. In order to obtain state assistance, you must cooperate with the offender's prosecution.

This program is handled through the District Attorney's Office. For further information, you may contact that office at (831) 755-5070.

If you have any questions or if the Pacific Grove Police Department can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to call (831) 648-3143.