California Domestic Violence Rate [2024 Updated]

Although often occurring behind closed doors, domestic violence is an all too common problem for both men and women in California. In fact, 34.9% of women and 31.1% of men in California experience intimate partner violence or stalking in their lifetime. In some instances, accusations are false. If you were accused of domestic violence, consider working with a California domestic violence lawyer to defend your case if you believe that you were unfairly or incorrectly accused.

Signs of Potential Domestic Violence

The indicators that someone is experiencing domestic violence at the hands of their romantic partner are not always obvious and can be hard to spot in certain instances. While it’s true that bruises and physical injuries can be obvious signs of abuse, other warning signals are harder to identify because intimate partner abuse is not always physical. Potential signs that someone might be experiencing domestic violence can include:

  • Not being allowed to spend time or communicate with family or friends
  • Frequent interruptions at work by a romantic partner
  • Lack of financial control or independence
  • Being repeatedly criticized, belittled, or shamed in front of other people
  • Destruction of personal property by a spouse or partner

Leaving an abusive relationship in which domestic violence is present is not always easy. In fact, seven is the average number of attempts it takes for domestic violence victims to leave their abuser for good. Because the abuser often controls most aspects of the victim’s life, victims typically lack the resources to be able to get out of the abusive situation.

Stalking and Domestic Violence in California

While stalking might not seem like a violent act to some, it’s not uncommon for abusers to stalk their victims in domestic violence situations involving romantic partners. Stalking can be a way for an abuser to exert control over their victim. In the United States, 40% of stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner. Stalking is illegal in the state of California, and a conviction for this crime deals harsh penalties to stalking perpetrators.

The legal definition of stalking in California includes the willful, repeated, and malicious act of following or harassing another person. Furthermore, it must pose a credible threat to the victim’s safety and carry an intent to put the victim in a reasonable state of fear. The law in California considers threats made electronically over the phone or via the internet to be included in the definition of stalking.

Being found guilty of stalking can result in a misdemeanor or felony criminal conviction, and both are punishable by fines and jail time. If you’ve been accused of stalking, it’s critical to take the accusation seriously. Consider hiring a lawyer who has experience representing individuals involved in domestic violence cases.

Gun Ownership and Domestic Violence in California

The domestic violence laws in California are strict against those found guilty of domestic violence. This includes laws establishing firearm restrictions for domestic violence perpetrators. According to one report, 32.1% of women in California domestic shelters reported that their abusive partners used a gun to harm, threaten, or scare them. For this reason, it might not be surprising to some that California has harsh laws for domestic violence perpetrators.

It is illegal for individuals who are convicted of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to possess firearms in California. This is also true for those who have protective orders in place against them. Law enforcement officers are required to confiscate firearms when responding to domestic violence reports. Additionally, California requires a background check for all firearm sales and transfers, plus a mandatory 10-day waiting period.

If you’re facing a domestic violence charge, it’s important to know how being found guilty could impact your rights under the law in a number of serious ways. This impact can include making it illegal for you to own a gun or have a gun in your home. Working with a knowledgeable domestic violence defense attorney can help you understand your legal right to keep a firearm in your possession in California.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Domestic Violence Rate in California?

A: The domestic violence rate in California is that 34.9% of women and 31.1% percent of men will experience stalking or domestic violence at the hands of their partner within their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The same source reports that domestic violence hotlines in the United States receive an average of 13 calls every minute for help with domestic violence incidents.

Q: How Are Domestic Violence Cases Handled in California?

A: In California, domestic violence cases are handled either in the criminal court system or in the family or juvenile court system, depending on the circumstances of the case. Domestic violence does not always occur between romantic partners. Unfortunately, domestic violence sometimes takes place between parents and children. The court system reports handling thousands of cases involving domestic violence every year.

Q: What Is the VAWA Act in California?

A: VAWA is the federal Violence Against Women Act, which also applies to the state of California. VAWA was passed in 1994 and recognizes that domestic violence is a national crime. VAWA established that certain domestic violence crimes are crimes at the federal level. Additionally, the Gun Control Act also made it illegal for domestic violence perpetrators to possess firearms. Despite these federal laws, most domestic violence cases are handled at the state or local level.

Q: How Long Do Most Domestic Violence Cases Last?

A: The length of time that most domestic violence cases last varies from one case to the next. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, the duration of your case will depend on the specific details of the alleged domestic violence incident or incidents. Working with an attorney who has knowledge of domestic violence law and experience representing individuals accused of domestic violence can give you a better idea of how long your case might last.

Trust Najera Law Group, P.C., to Represent Your Domestic Violence Case

Najera Law Group, P.C., has experience representing clients in a wide range of domestic violence cases. We understand the laws and penal code for domestic violence in California and can apply our knowledge to defend against domestic violence allegations. Contact us to request a case evaluation today.

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