Domestic Violence

About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is physical violence which occurs in the following relationships:

  • Married Couples
  • Cohabiting couples
  • People who have a child or children in common
  • People in a dating relationship or who were in a former dating relationship
  • People who were formerly married

Domestic violence is a crime

According to F.B.I. reports a woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the United States. Studies have found that up to 35% of women who visit emergency rooms for treatment are there for injuries related to ongoing abuse. Further, more than 50% of women killed in the United States are killed by intimate partners or ex-partners.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office Domestic Violence Unit only prosecutes cases of domestic violence. The unit generally prosecutes repeat offenders or cases involving severe physical injury to the victim. Once a case is brought into the Unit it is prosecuted by the same Deputy District Attorney through all criminal proceedings. This is known as “vertical prosecution.” Vertical prosecution ensures consistency in punishment and policy, greater efficiency of government resources, and most importantly, fosters an individual bond of trust and concern between the victim and the prosecutor.

The Domestic Violence Unit prosecutes those who have acted out violently. The potential punishment in a misdemeanor case is usually a jail sentence, domestic violence counseling (52 week long program), 40 hours community service, a minimum $200 contribution to the Domestic Violence Victim's fund, and a “stay away” order from the victim or a “No Harm, No Strike” order if the couple is still together. In felony cases, the sentence can be up to several years in state prison.

Additionally, the Unit provides assistance to victims of these crimes by giving them information about counseling, medical treatment and court assistance. When a victim comes to court they have an “advocate”. That advocate is someone who keeps them informed of the court proceedings, results and other pertinent information.

Information is the key. The goal is to inform people about the laws that are presently in place, the negative impact of a conviction, and why people stay in these abusive relationships. These goals are attained by going to trial, getting people into counseling and raising the awareness of the community.

What If I Am A Victim Of Domestic Violence

If you have experienced an incident of abuse by your partner, the most important fact to keep in mind is that help exists. From crisis lines to shelter, Stanislaus County has ample resources that many victims of abuse may not be aware of. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the following information if you believe that you may be in an abusive relationship, or even if you believe there is the slightest possibility.

The first thing that an abuse victim should do is call the police. Do not try to take matters into your own hands or try to resolve the problem within the family. Law enforcement will make sure that you are safe from any more violence by removing the abuser from the home, issuing a temporary protective order (lasting five days) and enforcing any protective orders to make sure that the abuser does not intimidate or harass you.

Stanislaus County has a women's shelter program to assist you with temporary shelter, crisis lines, counseling, support groups and restraining order assistance. If you need to leave the house immediately, call the shelter in your area for assistance. The locations are confidential and you will be kept safe. If you are in an abusive relationship and need advice, the crisis lines are available 24 hours a day.

If you decide that living with abuse is no longer an acceptable way of life for you and your children, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Victim Services Division can provide assistance to you in seeking a restraining order. The local women's shelter can assist in the restraining order process.

Available Assistance

Resources are available through the Victim Services Division:

An advocate will assess your needs and refer you to community agencies that can best assist you.

If your abuser has been arrested and a criminal case has been filed by the District Attorney, we have made services available to you in an effort to make the criminal justice system more understandable, accessible and personable.

Confusing as the criminal justice system may be, we provide victims with the opportunity to find out exactly what stage the case may be with a full explanation as to what that may mean to you. Confusion and lack of insight into the workings of the justice system is possibly the most significant barrier individuals encounter when finding themselves thrown into the system. We believe that providing victims with case status updates and orientation significantly reduces the stress and fear one commonly experiences in being faced with such a system. A program advocate will accompany you to court if you are subpoenaed to testify.

If you have incurred any out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of your victimization, our office can assist you in applying for compensation through the Victim of Crime Compensation Program . The program is administered by the State Board of Control and provides monetary assistance to victims of violent crime, such as spousal battery, for medical expenses and therapy expenses, among others.

It is very likely that you may need the assistance of a therapist to work through your victimization. If you feel that you are in need of therapy, we can provide for you a list of therapists in your area who are familiar with the Victim of Crime Compensation Program. This list also includes each therapist's area of specialty to assist you in choosing who is right for you.

Getting A Restraining Order

When applying for a Restraining Order, we feel it is important to inform you that there are several different types of Restraining Orders , depending on the relationship of the parties involved and what may have occurred.

If you have been battered and you have a qualifying relationship with the abuser (to be determined by a Victim Services advocate), you may apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, and the Victim Services Division may assist you.

If your situation involves specifically child custody, general family law or family law restraining orders, general civil law and civil disputes, civil harassment restraining orders, or landlord/tenant matters, we have provided you with low-cost legal referrals that are more appropriate resources to handle your legal matters.

Types Of Restraining Orders

There are four different types of temporary restraining orders:

Harassment Orders

Granted to: Anyone being annoyed or harassed greatly by another.

  • Those not qualifying under the Domestic Violence Act.
  • Those not trying to evade legitimate debt collection.

Granted for:

  • Acts of violence or harassment.
  • Threats or other disturbing behavior.


  • Expires 15 days later on hearing date.

Family Law Restraining Order (OSC TRO)

Granted to:

  • Married couples with dissolution or legal separation filed in this country, final or not.
  • Unmarried parents of minor child, in conjunction with paternity action and custody application.

Granted for:

  • Acts of violence, harassment, threats, alleged child abuse, sometimes divorce cases.


  • Expires 21-23 days later on hearing date.

Emergency Protective Order (EPO) (Telephone TRO)

Granted to:

  • Same as Domestic Violence Order, issued in the field by law enforcement officers in cases of immediate danger. They are valid for 5 court business days.

Domestic Violence Orders

Granted to:

  • Spouse
  • Former Spouse
  • Those related by blood, marriage or adoption.
  • Roommates.
  • Those who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship.

Granted for:

  • Physical or sexual abuse to petitioner or household member.
  • Extreme threats coupled with a great fear of abuse.


  • Domestic violence restraining orders expire in approximately 3 weeks. A hearing will be scheduled on the date of expiration. If the petitioner wishes to extend the restraining order protection for three years, she/he must attend this hearing.

Legal Services Referrals

AAA California Legal Aid
Phone: 209-537-0359
Behavioral Health & Recovery Services
Emergency Line 209-558-4600
Regular Line 1-888-376-6246
Better Business Bureau
Phone: 800-948-4880
California Rural Legal Assistance
Phone: 209-577-3811
Emancipation of Minor
Phone: 209-558-6000
Environmental Health
Phone: 209-525-4154
Friends Outside
Phone: 209-522-2209
Victims of Crimes Resource Center
Phone: 1-800-VICTIMS
Haven Women's Shelter
Phone: 209-576-0659
Human Relations Commission
Family Law Facilitator
County Courthouse 2nd Floor 800 11th Street, Room 220
Phone: 209-558-6000
Lawyer Reference Service
Phone: 209-571-5727
Long-term Care Ombudsman Program
Phone: 800-231-4024
Public Defender
Phone: 209-525-4592
Rape Crisis Center
Phone: 209-577-4344
Stanislaus County Jails
Men's Jail: 209-525-6427
Public Safety Center: 209-558-1000
Honor Farm: 209-538-2202
Stanislaus County Courts
Direct: 209-558-6000
Criminal Fines Collection: 209-525-4453
Jury Duty: 209-525-6307
Stanislaus County Law Library
Phone: 209-558-7759
Stanislaus County Probation Department
Adult Division 209-567-4120
Juvenile Division 209-525-5400
Juvenile Hall 209-525-4579
Stanislaus County Victim Services
Phone: 209-525-5541
Stanislaus Recovery Center
Phone: 209-541-2121
Tri County Typing and Bookkeeping
Phone: 209-577-5736
United Way
Phone: 209-572-2255

Local Law Enforcement

Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Crime Victim's Compensation Unit

Crime Victim Compensation

California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP): 1-800-777-9229

If you or someone close to you were injured or threatened with injury in a violent crime, California’s Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) may help pay certain crime-related expenses.

CalVCP can help pay expenses that result when a violent crime occurs, if there is no other source of reimbursement. Victims of crime who have been injured or have been threatened with injury may be eligible for help.

Such crimes include but are not limited to: rape, child abuse, robbery (not burglary), domestic violence, assault, drunk driving, elder abuse, human trafficking, stalking, vehicular manslaughter or if a family member was a homicide victim.

Money will not remove a victim's pain or bring back a loved one, but it may help a victim and their families restart their life.

Losses that may be covered

  • Medical/dental treatment
  • Mental health counseling
  • Relocation
  • Wage/income loss
  • Job training
  • Home/vehicle modifications
  • Funeral/burial expenses
  • Crime scene clean-up

Losses NOT covered

(While these losses are not covered under CalVCP, they may be recoverable through court ordered restitution during the defendant's sentencing or a civil lawsuit).

  • Personal property losses, including cash
  • Pain and suffering

Assistance Resources

If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are many resources available to you in Stanislaus County.

Report all crimes to your local law enforcement agency or call 911
The Haven Women's Center of Stanislaus County is dedicated to providing counseling and assistance to victims of domestic violence.
CRISIS: 209-577-5980 or 888-454-2836
Business: 209-524-4331
Modesto Women's Mission
Modesto Inn
Phone: 209-527-0444
Salvation Army
Phone: 209-523-7577
Stanislaus Family Justice Center
The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Victim Services Unit
Phone: 209-525-5541 - Can provide assistance, information, referrals, and other resources.
National Domestic Violence Hotline can provide further resources:
Phone: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
TTY : 1-800-787-3224