The San Diego Sheriff's Department wants to remind residents that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Last year, the County Sheriff's Department handled 3,675 domestic violence cases. Of those cases, 171 of them were in Ramona.
"Those are the most dangerous calls for the deputy," said Crime Prevention Specialist Barbara Wallace, who works out of the Ramona Sheriff's Department Substation. "Even though the couple is fighting, they get protective of each other."
The sheriff's department wants to remind residents that "love is not abusive," and to start a conversation now with someone you know if you suspect they are in a violent situation.
"Communication is the key," said Wallace. "If you're upset, stop and take a breath."
According to the sheriff's department, each day, three people are killed in America in domestic violence incidents. Men, women, children, elders and pets can all be victims of domestic violence.
Wallace told Patch that the weather impacts people, especially when temperatures get high.
"There's always more fighting when the heat goes up," she said. "We're all human. People get irritable."
California law describes domestic violence as any abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. "Cohabitant" means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has a list of some signs of an abusive relationship that may result in domestic violence:
- Your partner exhibits extreme jealousy
- You are overly concerned about what kind of mood your partner is in
- Your partner prevents you from seeing your friends or family, or alienates them so that they are uncomfortable being around
- Your partner threatens to hurt or kill you, your children, your family, friends or pets
- Your partner yells at you, reprimands you, or demeans you in public
- Your partner hits, slaps, pushes or shoves you, pulls your hair, or inflicts physical injury on you in any way
- Your partner prevents you from getting or keeping a job
- Your partner keeps you from leaving the house or locks you out of the house.
Wallace said it's important to remember that every relationship has its ups and downs and to "find a place to cool off" before any argument gets too heated.
"It's normal in every relationship to disagree," she said.
Need help? Here's a list of local resources to help prevent domestic violence:
- Contact the local sheriff’s department substation at 760-789-9157.
- Call the San Diego County Domestic Violence 24-hour hotline 1-888-DVLINKS (385-4657) for emergency assistance or ongoing needs.
- Leave your home or have someone stay with you. Go to a shelter. Call the North County Family Violence Prevention Center at 760-798-2835.
- Get medical attention from your doctor or hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action.
Ramona's substation also has a pamphlet with resources including family services, legal assistance, emergency shelters, emergency food and clothing and more.