What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as abuse committed against members of the same family, a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, a person with whom the offender has had a child, or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship regardless of sexual orientation or between children and elderly parents.
Domestic violence may begin with angry words, a shove, or a slap, and may escalate into a pattern of assaultive controlling behaviors including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks against the victim, children, property and/or pets.
Criminal domestic violence behaviors include hitting, choking, kicking, assault with a weapon, shoving, scratching, biting, rape, unwanted sexual touching, forcing sex with a third party, or violation of a valid restraining order. Degrading comments, interrogating family members, suicide threats/attempts, controlling victim’s time and activities, although not criminal, are also considered domestic violence behaviors.
Domestic violence is not an isolated, individual event. One battering episode builds on past episodes and sets the stage for future episodes. All incidents of the pattern interact with each other and have a profound effect on the victim. There is a wide range of consequences, some physically injurious and some not, but all are psychologically damaging.
Some acts of domestic violence even include sexual assault. A sexual assault may be by a stranger or a person known to the victim, including a husband, boyfriend, ex-husband, or ex-boyfriend. Sexual assault is a crime. Victims should notify the police immediately. A police officer will respond to conduct an investigation and collect evidence. Victims should keep all clothing worn during the assault and other evidence such as bed sheets. Officers will transport victims to the hospital for a free medical exam. Victims should not shower or douche before the exam.
Research has shown that this pattern of control and abuse increases in frequency and severity over time. It is estimated that one-fourth of all homicides in this country occurs within the family and one-half of these are husband-wife killings. Studies have shown that arrest, jail, probation, and Restraining Orders deter many abusers from physically abusing their partners.
If you become a victim of threatening phone calls by your domestic partner, report them to the Irvine Police Department immediately. The Irvine Police Department takes threatening calls seriously, and so should you, especially if you are in a battering relationship or have been a victim of domestic violence.
You are not alone and many different kinds of help are available to you in your community. The Irvine Police Department is concerned about your safety!
Did you know...
- A woman is beaten every 15 seconds.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between ages 15 and 44 in the United States
- Battered women are more likely to suffer miscarriages and to give birth to babies with low birth weights.
- Sixty-three percent of the young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are serving time for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser
How can you tell if you are in an abusive relationship?
For resource links, click here.
Does the person you love:
- Intimidate you, make you feel isolated or alone
- Frighten you with his/her temper
- "Track" all of your time
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends
- Prevent you from working or attending group meetings or school
- Criticize you for little things such as your cooking or appearance
- Anger easily when drinking alcohol or taking drugs
- Control all the finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend
- Humiliate or degrade you in front of others by name-calling, putdowns, or accusations
- Make frequent threats to withhold money, have an affair, or take away the children
- Destroy personal property or sentimental items
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, restrain, bite or throw things at you or the children
- Use, or threaten to use, a weapon against you
- Threaten to hurt you or the children
- Force you to engage in sex against your will
- Give in because you are afraid of your partner’s reaction
- Apologize to yourself or others for your partner’s behavior when you are treated badly
- Experience a pattern of violence
How do I get notified when my abuser is getting released from jail?
Call the VINE system to be notified at 800-721-8021.
What is the VINE system?
VINE stands for Victim Information and Notification Everyday. VINE is an automated computer program offered for domestic violence crime victims in Orange County. The purpose of the VINE program is to provide victims of crime continuous access concerning an inmate’s custody status.
By calling the VINE number, a victim can determine the custody status of the offender and register to be notified of the release or transfer of the specific inmate. There is no charge for this service.
How does a victim register to be notified?
Victims may register themselves for notification using a touch-tone telephone. After dialing the VINE number, follow the instructions given by the system.
You will be asked to give a telephone number and a four-digit PIN number. If you do not have a telephone you may use the telephone number of a relative of friend. Do not use a telephone number that reaches a switchboard.
How will VINE notify a victim?
The VINE system monitors inmate activity in the Orange County Jail System. When an inmate is transferred or released, VINE will automatically react to contact the properly registered victims.
Do not be startled if you receive a call from VINE in the middle of the night. VINE will begin calling as soon as new information regarding an inmate is received.
How do I register for this service?
Call 800-721-8021. You will need the following information:
- Suspect’s name
- Suspect’s booking number at Orange County Jail. If you do not have this number you can obtain it by calling Jail Records at 714-647-4666.
- Irvine Police Department’s case number. This should have been provided to you at the time the officer took the report. If needed you can call Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7200 to obtain the number.