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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  – Today marks the beginning of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which was officially designated by the U. S. Congress in 1989 through the passage of Public Law 101-112.

While domestic violence has been all over the national news lately, sadly, we see far too many cases in our own county, from all races and religions and across all socioeconomic lines. I still recall standing beside the gravesite of young Tania Villalobos, who was murdered by her husband, as the result of a domestic violence dispute. Sadly, there are more tragic stories to tell.

In 2013, our office filed 3,038 misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases in San Bernardino County. Eleven of those cases involved murder.

Fortunately, with the help of our Family Violence Unit, we have had much success in terms of prosecuting those who are charged with domestic violence, but our efforts must also extend beyond the criminal justice system to connect our victims with available resources.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to fighting domestic violence, by working with our partners in both the non-profit and faith-based sectors and other government agencies committed to this same fight. We, as an organization, are also taking steps to better serve victims.

Sadly, many victims of domestic violence often find themselves in a position where they need to obtain a domestic violence restraining order to protect themselves from someone who is abusive. As it stands right now, victims throughout San Bernardino County can take such action in the following districts: Barstow, Joshua Tree, San Bernardino and Victorville.

One area in our county that is currently underserved when it comes to obtaining a restraining order is the West End. To ensure that our victims are served in this geographical area, we are now providing a computer and printer, along with internet access, in a private area at our Rancho Cucamonga Division. The computer will be located in our office on the fourth floor of the Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse.

If a victim would like to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order and submit the forms online to the court, without fear of having their internet history monitored, all he or she needs to do is simply come to our office and ask to speak with a victim advocate. While our victim advocates are not at liberty to enter the information, they will be there to walk any victim through the process and provide comfort and access to other potential resources.

This month, as we honor National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let us not only come together to strengthen our own families but work to empower those affected by domestic violence with resources and information.

Domestic Violence Statistics for the Calendar Year 2013

3,038 misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases filed in San Bernardino County.

91 Felony PC 187(a) murder charges filed

11 out of the 91 murder charges filed were related to Domestic Violence.

In 2013, 251 defendants were sentenced to state prison for a total of 868 years.

In 2013, 1,482 defendants were sentenced to County Prison and County jail for a total of 315 years.

The average age of domestic violence victims: 33
Crimes against male victims 499
Crimes against female victims 2,539
Number of victims under 18 39
Victims aged 18 – 25 951
Victims aged 26 – 40 1,380
Victims aged 41 and over 668

Point of View Guest Columns

Throughout the month of October, guest columns by Deputy District Attorneys in the Family Violence Unit will be release each week.

Week 1: Deputy District Attorney Melissa Monrreal
“No person should ever have to live in fear and I believe justice has been served when a victim is empowered to take control of their own life and finally find a peace.”

Week 2: Deputy District Attorney Michele Elizalde-Daly
“The family went into hiding, terrified that he was going to kill them and then himself. I got the judge and the police department involved and the defendant was very quickly back in custody.”

Week 3: Deputy District Attorney Morrissa Cardoza
“The most difficult part of my assignment is having to read about, hear about, and look at pictures of the terrible things that people can do to children.”

Additional Resources

WARNING: Please note that websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later. Always clear your browsing history after searching the web. Consider using a public or friend’s computer if you are concerned about someone viewing your browsing history. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call our Victims Services Department at (909) 387-6540

Click here for more information about Domestic Violence, visit

For information on how to file a domestic violence restraining order, visit the California Courts website.

For a list of Domestic Violence shelters and resources, click here.

(press release)

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