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FAQs

Domestic Violence

It is a crime for a member or former member of your family or household to physically injure you.

To report Domestic Violence Call 911

Please tell the investigating officers:

  • If you or any other resident in the house has been injured.
  • If you believe you will be in danger when the officer leaves. 
  • You have the right to: 
    Ask the attending officer for an Emergency Protective Order (E.P.O.) if the violence occurs in the evening or on weekends when the court is closed. The E.P.O. is valid for 2 court days, allowing the plaintiff time to get a temporary restraining order.
  • Ask the prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the suspect.
  • Ask for a court order to protect you. For example, you could get a court order that:
    • Forbids the abuser from any further acts of violence
    • Orders the abuser to leave your household.
    • Establishes temporary custody for your children and directs the abuser not to interfere with your children or property

If an individual wants to act as their own attorney they can obtain the forms and instructions at no cost from the County Clerk's Office. There is no filing fee required when delivering the documents for filing to the Clerk's Office.
For further information on temporary restraining orders, consult the District Attorney's Office, a private attorney or the Legal Aid Foundation.

The Legal Aid Foundation has a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 6pm as well as available appointments throughout the week. Please call (805) 963-6754 or drop in at Monday through Thursday, 9:30am – noon and 1:30 – 4pm.

Legal Aid is located at 301 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.