Domestic violence help

Are you a victim?

The Santa Ana Police Department aggressively enforces laws designed to protect the victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault.

In California, it is a crime to threaten, assault, sexually violate, or otherwise harm another person, including a spouse, ex-spouse, parents, lover, or dating partner.

Domestic violence information

Victims of domestic violence should immediately report any abuse to the police department.  Despite reassurances from the batterer, incidents of domestic violence may continue to increase in both intensity and frequency.  The Santa Ana Police Department has a full-time victim assistance specialist assigned to assist the victims of domestic violence with temporary shelter, medical assistance, resource information, and more. We encourage victims of domestic violence to obtain a restraining order against a batterer to further protect family members and themselves from continued abuse.

Due to legal constraints, subjects arrested for domestic violence may be released at any time. Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to use the Victim Notification Everyday (V.I.N.E.) service to be automatically contacted prior to the subject’s release from custody.

Restraining orders

As a victim of domestic violence, you have the right to file a petition with the Superior Court requesting a restraining order.  Judges may issue orders that:

  • Restrain the batterer (restrained person) from abusing the victim (protected person) and other family members.
  • Direct the restrained person to leave the household.
  • Prevent the restrained person from entering the protected person’s residence, school, business or place of employment.
  • Award the protected person temporary custody of minor children.
  • Restrain the restrained person from bothering or interfering with minor children in the protected person’s custody.
  • Direct the restrained person to pay for the support of minor children if he or she has a legal obligation to do so.
  • Direct the restrained person to make specified payments coming due while the order is in effect.
  • Direct that either one or both parties participate in counseling.

Enforcing court restraining orders

After you file a restraining order with the court, the restrained person must be served with a copy of the order before it can be enforced.  A copy of the order must also be filed with the police agency having jurisdiction over the protected person’s residence.  After a restraining order has been properly served and filed, the restrained person is subject to arrest for any violation of the order.

Victim / witness assistance

All victims of crime, their family members and witnesses of crime may obtain information and assistance from the CSP Victim/Witness Assistance Program, (714) 834-4350.

Victim/Witness Assistance Program will answer your questions and give you information or refer you to agencies in your community for services that meet your special needs.  Some of these services include medical care, counseling, transportation, court escort, state compensation claims, and crisis intervention.  It also gives special emphasis to helping several types of victims: domestic violence, senior citizens, sexual assault, and families of homicide victims.  Victim counselors will be assigned to help you with your case.

The city of Santa Ana participates in the Department of Homeland Security Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act, also known as a U-Visa. An applicant should contact Homeland Security or review guidelines found on their web site,, to determine eligibility. If the applicant is a victim of a qualifying crime, has been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime, he or she may be eligible.

If the crime resulted in an arrest of the perpetrator, the Orange County District Attorney's Office is the appropriate certifying agency. The Orange County District Attorney's Office can be reached at (714) 834-3600. The Santa Ana Police Department will not certify applications on cases involving an arrest.

The Santa Ana Police Family Crimes Sergeant will review applications that contain the following:

  • Completed I-918 Supplement B Form
  • Police reports supporting certification
  • Self-addressed, postage paid return envelope

Sexual assault information

If you are the victim of a sexual assault:

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Call the police by dialing 9-1-1.

In order to prevent the destruction of evidence that may be used to convict your attacker(s), consider the following:

  • Do not bathe, douche, or comb your hair.
  • Do not change your clothes.
  • Do not eat or drink anything.
  • Do not touch, move, destroy, or discard anything at the crime scene.

The police will assist you in obtaining medical attention to determine the extent of your injuries, rule out pregnancy and/or possible sexually transmitted diseases, and collect evidence.  If possible, take a change of clothes with you to the hospital.  The Santa Ana Police Department pays for the medical attention described in this paragraph.

Remember your attacker.  Write down what you remember about his appearance, his car, and the direction he went when he left you.  Provide this and any information regarding possible witnesses to the police.  The police will need all the information you can give them to apprehend and prosecute your attacker.

Remember - sexual assault by someone you know, including sexual assault by your spouse, is a crime (P.C. 262). If you wish, a police officer will notify the Rape Counseling Center which is available 24 hours a day to assist you. At your request, a counselor will respond and accompany you to the hospital and/or police department.

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