Domestic Violence

Published: 3/1/2016

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office wants to remind people that you have the right to be safe and no one has the right to hit, threaten, or abuse you. Men, women, children, elders and pets can all be victims of domestic violence. Children witnessing domestic violence in their home are at risk to grow up to be abused by their intimate partner or become abusers themselves. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence, now is the time to start protecting yourself. You can take that first step by seeking assistance and it is as close as a phone call to law enforcement, a friend or to a shelter.

If you need help, here’s what you can do:

If violence starts, go to a room or area that has an exit. Try to stay away from the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or anywhere that weapons might be available. If possible leave. Plan ahead for your safety - think of four places you can go if you leave home. 

Contact your local law enforcement agency immediately at: (541) 440-4471 or 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.

Call Battered Persons Advocacy a local resource for people in crisis. The 24-Hour Crisis Line is: (541) 673-7867. You can also visit them online at www.peaceathome.com

If you have been injured in any way, 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.

You may want to tell your neighbors about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from your home.

If you have been a victim of physical abuse or threatened abuse, you may be able to get a restraining order under the Oregon Family Abuse Prevention Act. This law allows you to obtain protection from domestic violence without having to file for a divorce or legal separation (although you can do so if you wish). 

Restraining Orders are heard by a judge, at the Douglas County Courthouse Monday through Friday (except holidays). People who want to file for a restraining order need to arrive at the courthouse at 7:30 am at the courthouse cafeteria. A Battered Persons Advocacy advocate will be available there to answer questions, explain the process, and provide forms.

If you have a restraining order, always keep it with you.

Call the police if your partner breaks the restraining order.

You may want to tell your family, friends, neighbors, worker, school and doctor that you have a restraining order and who it is against.

You may want to tell your neighbors that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see the person near your home.

Let your children’s school, day care, etc., know who has permission to pick up your children.

At work, decide who you will tell about your situation, such as your boss or work security people. Provide a picture of the person who is hurting you, if possible.

Plan for safety when you leave work. Have someone walk you to your car or bus and wait with you until you’re safely on your way.

If possible, take different routes home each day.

Domestic violence is a mandatory arrest in Oregon -- we will arrest even if the victim is too afraid and does not wish to pursue charges. It is unknown how long the abuser will stay in jail -- but once released, there will be a no-contact order prohibiting contact with the victim. If this order is violated, notify the police immediately.

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE): If you would like to be notified of the defendant's release from custody, you may register through the Oregon VINE service by calling 1-877-674-8463 or by signing up online.  VINE is an automated system of notification, and is available in English and Spanish.

Remember, if you are being abused —  IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. No one has the right to hurt someone else!