SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today shared resources to help combat intimate partner violence during COVID-19. While social distancing is crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19, the statewide stay-at-home order may pose additional challenges or dangers to people experiencing intimate partner violence, which includes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in five women and one in seven men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
“During this crisis, we’re all working to do our part to help flatten the curve to keep our communities safe,” said Attorney General Becerra. “That means staying at home and listening to guidance provided by state and local public health officials. Unfortunately, home isn’t always a safe place – that’s why it’s crucial that we all have the tools necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones. There’s never an excuse for violence against an intimate partner. My office is grateful to all those who continue to work to support survivors of abuse during these trying times. We may be physically apart, but nobody is alone.”
California law offers Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Gun Violence Restraining Orders. These orders generally prohibit people who pose an imminent, significant danger to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition. You can obtain a protective order to protect yourself or your family by calling your local law enforcement agency or by submitting forms to a court. Your county’s court may have additional information on procedures in your area during the statewide stay-at-home order. In light of COVID-19, the California Judicial Council issued temporary emergency rules on April 6, 2020, including an extension of the time frames for specified temporary restraining orders. Information on current guidance for protective orders is available below and from the California Courts:
Legal Aid Clinics:
Many legal aid clinics are offering telephone appointments while their physical offices are closed. These clinics provide free or low-cost legal assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence. To find a clinic that works in your region, visit the State Bar for a list of free or low-cost legal aid programs or resources.
Support and Services Information:
During COVID-19, Attorney General Becerra remains committed to protecting the people of California. Earlier this month, the Attorney General issued a consumer alert on evictions to provide tenants with critical information to preserve their rights. He also called on the federal government to instate a special enrollment period on HealthCare.Gov to help people access healthcare coverage. In March alone, he took a number of actions. He issued several consumer alerts, including one to warn Californians about fraudulent charities during the current public health crisis. He called on Amazon and Whole Foods to step up worker protections by providing paid sick leave that is consistent with guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He urged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to use her authority to protect student borrowers during the COVID-19 emergency. He also urged the Trump Administration to halt implementation of the “Public Charge” rule, which could undermine public health efforts to combat COVID-19. And, he called on the federal government to cut red tape and increase access to reproductive telehealth care. For the latest on COVID-19 preparedness, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/.