Resources for Domestic Violence Victims Amid COVID-19

District Attorney Summer Stephan
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan

Victims in Close Quarters with Abusers at Risk for Harm

In the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all affected by the crisis. This is especially true for couples and families who may be at risk of domestic violence and who are now in close quarters amid Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order. In response, District Attorney Summer Stephan is reminding the public of resources available to victims of domestic violence.

“We acknowledge the necessity of Governor Newsom’s order, but want to be sure we provide a lifeline to those who may be at increased risk of violence at the hands of an intimate partner,” DA Summer Stephan said. “Additional stressors such as losing a job and kids at home due to school closures can be triggers for domestic violence. We want people who are seeing warning signs of abuse or who are being abused to know that we stand ready to help them and that they shouldn’t suffer in silence.”

A new domestic violence resource website, set up by the District Attorney’s Office, provides information in English and Spanish on free local services, along with an anonymous quiz that determines one’s risk for domestic violence. There is also a version of the website for offenders with information on how to stop the cycle of abuse. The sites were developed with a Department of Justice Domestic Violence Smart Prosecution Grant. In addition, domestic violence hotlines, resource centers and temporary restraining orders are still available during the temporary court closure. Shelters funded by Cal OES are essential services and are still operating. There are also services available for victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, child abuse and fraud.

Red flags for abuse include:

  • Controlling and jealous behaviors
  • Threats to harm you, your children or pet
  • Destruction of property
  • Put downs or telling you that nothing you do is right
  • Forced sex
  • Withholding access to money or medical care
  • Shaming or embarrassing you
  • Saying if you get coronavirus symptoms you will get kicked out
  • Forcing you to do drugs or alcohol
  • Threatening to have you deported

If you or someone you know is in danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There is also an online chat service available or you can text LOVEIS to 22522. Information is also available on the DA’s website.

Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.

About the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office

The San Diego County DA’s Office prosecutes all felony crimes in the county and misdemeanor crimes committed outside the City of San Diego. The office files about 40,000 criminal cases a year and balances prosecution with numerous crime prevention programs. District Attorney Summer Stephan leads the office of more than 1,000 dedicated employees who pursue fair and equal justice, and support victims daily across San Diego County.