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Resource Guide For Victims Of Domestic Violence
Have You Been Abused?
Do You Need Help?

Police Protection (Officer Arrest)
The El Cerrito Police Department is committed to protecting persons who are victims of domestic violence. Officers will arrest when probable cause exists and take domestic violence offenders to jail.

Citizen Arrest
In certain cases, officers cannot make an arrest themselves but must ask you to make a citizen's arrest. The officer will then be able to take the offender to jail in most cases.

Citation and Release
The officer may cite and release the offender if they do not have a history of assaults. The officer will write the case number on this form. Be sure to keep this form and show it to any officer who assists you in the future. Despite official restraint of the person alleged to have committed domestic violence, the retrained person may be released at any time.

Court Restraining Orders
If you have obtained a restraining order, which stops the offender from beating or harassing you, and the offender knowingly violates the order, he/she will be arrested and, in most cases, taken to jail. Make Sure The Police Department Receives A Copy Of The Restraining Order And Proof That The Offender Has Been Served With A Copy.

Legal Questions/Victim Assistance
As the victim of domestic violence you may ask the District Attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a civil suit for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other expenses for injuries sustained and damage to property and other related expenses incurred by you or any agency that shelters you.

Restraining Order Information
Victims of domestic violence have a right to go to Superior Court and file a petition requesting any of the following orders of relief.
  • Order the defendant to stay a specified distance away from you, your family and/or your household.
  • Order the defendant to stay away from you home, work, family's home, children's school, child care center or babysitter's.
  • Order the defendant to move out of your home, even if the defendant's name is on the lease, or he/she is a co-owner.
  • Give you custody of your children and make visitation orders.
  • Order the defendant not to call you, your family and/or household.
  • Give you the use of some of your property.
  • Reimburse you for lost earnings and/or actual expenses caused directly by the violence.
  • Order directing either or both parties to participate in counseling.

STAND! for Families Free of Violence can help in obtaining a restraining order. You can call them directly at 888-215-5555.
You can also call the Contra Costa Crisis Center 24 hours a day at: 800-273-TALK or 888-628-9454 (Espanol)

A Note About Sexual Assault
Sexual assault by a person who is known to you, including sexual assault by a person who is your spouse, is a crime.

It is important to remember after a sexual assault that you should not change your clothes, wash, douche, or disturb anything in the physical surroundings until the police conduct their investigation. If you do, you may accidentally destroy valuable evidence the police or prosecutor might need to proceed with an arrest and obtain a conviction.
Emergency : 911

Non-Emergency: 510-237-3233

If you need legal assistance,  a place to stay (emergency shelter),  advise about your immediate problems, or counseling services call the Contra Costa Crisis Center 24 hours a day at:
211 or 800-273-TALK
In Espanol: 888-628-9454
Online: www.crisis-center.org

Contact the ECPD Investigations Division
If you are confused, need assistance or have comments about the way in which the Police Department handled your case, call the El Cerrito Police Department Investigations Division at 510-215-4405.

Other Phone Numbers:
Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office
(in Richmond)

Contra Costa County Victim/Witness Program
San Pablo: 510-374-3272
Toll Free: 800-648-0600 2222

Counseling For Offenders
STAND! for Families Free of Violence 888-215-5555