There is no excuse for abuse. No one deserves to be abused!
You can get help. You may feel alone and trapped, with no way out. But there is help. There are choices. These are suggestions that you can do NOW to better your situation and make the choice that is best for you and your children:
Call the Women’s Shelter Program at (805) 781-6400. You can talk to a trained crisis counselor about: what you are going through, making a plan to get away from your violent partner, our confidential Safe House, and services for men and women trying to change their lives for the better.
Create a Safety Plan. We understand that it is very difficult to leave a violent partner. A safety plan will help you to organize what you and your children will need for your escape. Call the Women’s Shelter Program at (805) 781-6400 for help creating your plan. Click here to learn more about safety planning.
If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. When the police arrive, ask for an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). An EPO can be issued by the police 24 hours a day. This order serves as immediate protection from the batterer. It provides a “kick out” order so that the batterer must move from the residence. Temporary custody of the children is given to the person to be protected by the order. If the batterer violates this order, the batterer may be arrested. Calling the police each time the EPO is violated will help you in the process of getting a more permanent protection order. This order is good for five court days, which allows you time to file a request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
Seek a restraining order. The Women’s Shelter Program provides assistance completing Restraining Order paperwork. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order provides longer-term legal protection and may include move-out orders (mandating the restrained person to move-out of a shared residence), a stay-away order (mandating the restrained person to stay 50-100 yards away from the protected party at all times), along with child custody, visitation, and support orders.