California Indian Legal Services is very concerned about the potential for a significant increase in domestic violence when families are restricted to their homes. This is undoubtedly a stressful time for all. Many people have lost their jobs, which is causing severe financial distress. Children are having to adapt to a curtailment of their usual activities and a whole new type of learning via the internet, and people are living in fear of catching a dangerous virus and/or are dealing with having caught the virus. Living under these difficult conditions will significantly test people who have a propensity towards committing domestic violence.

The media has started to focus on how these social restrictions can impact the risk of domestic violence. Domestic violence victims may feel trapped in their current situation. Children are more likely to witness domestic violence in the home because they cannot leave to go about their daily activities such as school,etc. Domestic violence is often revealed by children when they  can confide in someone they trust, such as a school counselor. Children’s ability to report is significantly cut off.

Our domestic violence legal team is here to help.  We are currently working remotely, but we have continued to modify and develop ways in which we can best serve our clients. Our legal advocate and an attorney can help with safety planning in a trauma-informed, confidential, culturally sensitive way. The domestic violence legal team is in regular contact with community partner agencies, the district attorney’s office, and law enforcement, and they are well-informed on their current status. The legal team can work quickly with these community partners to get clients connected to any services they may need.

Please feel free to contact our Escondido office at (760) 746-8941 or if you or someone you know need assistance.

Although the focus of this message is on domestic violence, we would like to remind you that we also serve victims of sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking.

CILS hopes that each of your tribal communities is safe and healthy. All CILS offices are operational and accepting clients. Tribes and their members may call their respective CILS office and our staff will return the call as soon as possible. All staff attorneys are working remotely and continuing to provide legal services to our existing and new clients.