Domestic violence intervention needs improvement

Domestic abuse involves families but also takes place outside the home. Domestic violence and divorce are related but abuse may also seriously harm people outside the family. In a Jan. 15 report, the Little Hoover Institute recognized that domestic violence is widespread and that California’s efforts to combat it were insufficient.

Profoundly harmful

In this report and a report issued in May, commission staff found that domestic violence has a profoundly harmful effect on all Californians. This conclusion was based upon data from law enforcement, public agencies, public academic studies, and news analysis.

Domestic abuse led to 40 percent of the deaths of police officers killed in the line of duty, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Bloomsburg News reported that 60 percent of mass shootings were committed by men who were attempting to kill their partner or who had a history of domestic violence.

Women in this country are 21 times more likely to be fatally shot than women in other wealthy nations, according to a 2014 study in the American of Journal of Public Health. Most times, an intimate partner killed them.


California law enforcement agencies deal with an average of 457 domestic violence calls each day. In abuse cases involving sexual violence, 51 percent of rape victims were raped by a current or former partner at an annual cost of $2.9 billion to the state.

State residents also face financial costs including property damage expenses, police response and investigations, jails, and other services.


Many state laws address abuse. The report found that victims, their abusers, law enforcement and others face substantial challenges because of insufficient coordination. These problems include the lack of mandated classes that fall within abusers’ work schedules and costly fees for mandatory classes.

Domestic violence nonprofit organizations must spend hundreds of hours each year filing almost the same information to several agencies for funding because of bureaucratic inefficiency. That funding cannot pay for the time spent on that repetitive filing.

Law enforcement needs more personnel to remove weapons from specified locations. Potential police recruits work elsewhere because salaries are not competitive.


The Commission recommended the appointment of a state leader who can coordinate state agencies and execute a strategy that prioritizes early intervention. It should include a strategy for survivors to obtain economic security because many abuse victims are unable to get jobs or credit because abusers ruined their financial record.

An attorney can help you seek legal protection from abuse. They can also assist you in high-conflict litigation when necessary.