What will happen if my spouse or partner is arrested for hurting me?

What happens next will depend on the circumstances that led to the arrest.  How seriously were you injured?  Was anyone else hurt?  Did he or she threaten you or anyone else?

Has he or she ever been arrested for anything like this before?  Depending on the case, your abuser could be placed on probation and referred to a “batterer’s” program, or spend time in custody.

A police investigator will probably contact you after the arrest.  If not, you may want to call the police and request a follow-up interview.  Some law enforcement agencies have special domestic violence response units.  However, you should be aware that the handling of domestic violence cases differs from county to county.

It is not uncommon for batterers to be put on probation for three years and ordered to undergo one year of domestic violence counseling in an approved program.  Judges presiding over such cases also frequently impose a criminal “stay-away order usually will remain in effect throughout the batterer’s probation.

For assistance with your case, you could call California’s Victims of Crime Program at 1-800-777-9229 to find the nearest Victim/Witness Assistance Center.  A Victim/Witness Assistance advocate may be able to provide you with some guidance.  In some countries, advocates can help you locate the investigator or prosecutor handling your partner’s case, advise you of what to expect, and even escort you to court.  They also should be able to tell you whether your county has a victim-witness notification system that will contact you when your partner is released from jail.  (To receive notification, you must register with the system.)

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