Family  Violence

Family Violence is abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Domestic violence is a crime. .

The Sonoma County Sherriff's Office is a founding partner in the establishment of the Family Justice Center Sonoma County.  Our Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigations unit is housed there, along with the District Attorney's Office, Santa Rosa Police Department DVSA unit, Redwood Children's Center and other public and community based organizations. At the Family Justice Center Sonoma County anyone experiencing family violence can obtain wrap-around support services to break free of an unhealthy and damaging environment.

The Family Justice Center Sonoma County empowers family violence victims to live free from violence and abuse by providing comprehensive services, centered on and around the victim through a single point of access. Building on strong interagency collaboration, we protect the vulnerable, stop the violence and restore hope.

The Family Justice Center Sonoma County provides a safe and welcoming environment where victims of family violence including; domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, human trafficking and stalking can go for support and services
The Family Justice Center Sonoma County envisions a future where our community has ended the cycle of family violence, our homes are places of safety, and children, families, and elders live free from the fear and presence of abuse in our rural, suburban, and urban neighborhoods.


The Family Justice Center Sonoma County is located at 2755 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

They are open for walk-ins and appointments by phone 707-565-8255 for visit their website for more information about hours and services. 

Services Available

Who is Eligible?

Anyone who is experiencing or has experienced: 

  • Domestic Violence
  • Dating Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Child Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • Elder Financial Abuse
  • Stalking
  • Human Trafficking


Advocacy- Advocates will provide assistance to those who have been victimized.  Advocates provide crisis intervention by offering emotional support.  Advocates can explain the civil and criminal system and link survivors to social services.  Advocates will be able to talk with you about your experiences, help you explore your options, identify resources, consider whether or not you want to seek help from law enforcement and find ways to help you keep yourself and your children safe.

Agencies providing this service:

Council on Aging
Victim Assistance
Inter-Tribal Council of California
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
YWCA Sonoma County
Human Services


Access to Interfaith Chaplaincy Program- Chaplains will be available for spiritual support and guidance.

Agencies providing this service:
Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service


Child Care Room- When you come to the FJCSC with your children, the Child Care Room provides a safe play environment for them while you receive the services that you need. 


Client Technology Area-Computer stations are available for clients to access the internet anytime during office hours.  Clients can check email accounts, connect with family and friends, perform job searches, work on resumes, etc.



Assistance with Clothing-The FJCSC has a limited supply of clothing on-site for victims and survivors.


Victim Services- Victim Services Division is a division within the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.  The program provides advocacy to victims of all crimes.  It is our mission to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your voice is heard.  Advocates provide the following services: information on your rights as a crime victim, guidance in dealing with the court system, contact information for local resources, assistance in filling out applications for the Victim Compensation Program, help obtaining restitution orders and ongoing support while you learn to cope.

Agencies providing this service:
District Attorney’s Office/ Victim witness


Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services- The FJCSC offers live computer interpretive services on-site through Purple Communications technology, deaf advocates, and various other technologies to assist clients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Survivor Groups and/or Therapy Services- Staff will connect victims and survivors with the necessary groups and therapy services.

Agencies providing this service:
YWCA Sonoma County
Inter-Tribal Council of California

Immigration Services- A Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited representative can assist you with U-Visa and VAWA applications.

Agencies providing this service:
Catholic Charities 

FJCSC Intake Assessment- The Navigator will meet with you to do an intake assessment.  The navigator will help determine what services meet you and your family's needs.  Once the assessment is complete the navigator will connect you with the appropriate partner advocates or community services.  

Legal Advocacy- An attorney provides assistance with domestic violence, elder abuse and civil harassment restraining orders, including in-court representation in some cases.  NOTE: You may receive any of the services at the Family Justice Center without reporting your problems to law enforcement.  No one is required to discuss their case with the police.

Agencies providing this service:
Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Resource Center- The Resource Center is a space for clients to access materials aimed towards meeting the needs of victims.  FJCSC on-site staff can answer questions related to resources.

Access to a Safe House- A safe house will be made available for victims and families of victims who are in danger and in need of shelter.

Agencies providing this service:
YWCA Sonoma County

Safety Planning- Staff at the Center will work with you on an individualized, comprehensive plan to keep victims and families safe.

Agencies providing this service:
Council on Aging
Victim Services Division
Inter-Tribal Council of California
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
YWCA Sonoma County


Transportation Assistance-The FJCSC will assist victims and survivors with getting to and from FJCSC and related appointments.

If you are being harassed, threatened or physically abused by your partner or ex-partner, you have a right to be protected. The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office is committed to protecting all victims of domestic violence. If you are, or have been involved in a violent relationship and require Sheriff's assistance, please call the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office  immediately. When the Deputy arrives, he or she can protect you from immediate danger or harm. In order to provide for your immediate safety, the following legal options are available. Read these carefully and remember, no one deserves to be abused.

Arrest / Citation Procedure

There are three options for proceeding once the Deputy arrives. In situations where the Deputy either witnesses the offense or where the victim sustains a serious or visible injury, the Deputy will make an arrest. It is important to remember that, even if arrested, the suspect may post bail and be released at any time. As the victim, you have a right to be informed of the suspect's release from custody. Contact the Sonoma County Jail and tell them that you want to be notified immediately prior to the suspect's release. If the Deputy did not witness the assault and there is no serious or visible injury, the Deputy has two options. Dependant on the circumstances, the Deputy may make an arrest or inform you of your right to make a CITIZEN'S ARREST in this type of situation. This allows the Deputy to take the suspect into custody. If you choose to make a citizen's arrest, you will be required to sign a citizen's arrest form and provide the Deputy with a signed, written statement describing the circumstances surrounding the crime.

If the suspect has no history of assault, the Deputy may elect to issue a CITATION AND RELEASE. This will require the suspect to appear in court but not go to jail at that time. If the suspect has been previously cited for assault or has previously violated a temporary restraining order, the suspect will likely be taken to jail by the Deputy.

Restraining Orders

Emergency Protective Orders
Deputy Sheriffs can obtain an Emergency Protective Order against the suspect if all of the following apply to your situation:


  • You are living with or have recently lived with or have had a dating relationship with the suspect, and there is an incidence of violence or threat of violence against you or your children.
  • You call the Sheriff and the suspect is present or in the immediate area when the Deputy arrives.
  • The Deputy has reasonable grounds to believe that you or your children are in immediate and serious danger of domestic violence.

The Emergency Protective Order will remain in effect until 5:00 p.m. on the fifth court day, or the seventh calendar day following its issuance, whichever comes first. This action is designed to provide you with immediate legal protection until you are able to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order from the courts.


Temporary Restraining Orders
Documents necessary to request a Temporary Restraining Order are available, free of charge, at the Superior Court Family Law Clerk’s Office, located at the Civil and Family Law Courthouse, 3055 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, 707-521-6630. If you need assistance in completing the forms, contact Legal Aid of Sonoma County (1105 North Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, 707-542-1290) or the YWCA (707-546-1234). Completed documents must be returned to the Superior Court Family Law Clerk’s Office.


Judges review and sign the petitions Monday through Friday. Please call the Clerk's Office for the times. Once a Temporary Restraining Order has been issued, file one copy with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and keep another with you at all times.

  • Order the suspect to stay a specified distance away from you and our children.
  • Order the suspect to stay away from your home, work, children's school, or child care provider.
  • Order the suspect to move out of your home, even if the suspect is a co-owner or co-lessee.
  • Give you custody of your children and make visitation orders.
  • Order the payment of child support.
  • Order the suspect not to contact you or your family by phone.
  • Order the suspect to make payments on specific debts and bills.
  • Order the suspect and victim to participate in counseling.
  • The Penal Code Section for violation of these orders cannot be enforced until the person to be restrained has been served notice or has been advised by the court.


Civil Suit

As a victim of domestic violence, you have the right to file a civil suit against your abuser. You may sue for losses suffered as a result of the abuse including medical expenses, loss of earnings or other costs related to your injuries. You may also claim damage to your property or expenses incurred by any agency sheltering you after the abuse.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime, whether committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, a relative, or even your spouse. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should take the following steps:


1. Go immediately to a safe place and call for assistance.
2. If you are injured, seek medical help immediately.
3. Do not bathe, shower, douche or dispose of your clothing.


    When the Deputy arrives, provide information about what happened to you and who was responsible. If you are the victim of a sexual assault, contact the Sheriff's Department as soon as possible. The sooner the crime is reported, the greater the odds are of arresting and convicting the suspect. When the Sheriff's Deputy arrives, you will be asked some questions in order to obtain preliminary information about what happened and who was responsible.

    Depending on the circumstances and nature of the assault, you may need a medical examination. You should take a complete change of clothing with you. The clothes worn at the time of the assault will be collected by the Deputy because they may provide valuable evidence against the suspect.

    During the course of the investigation, feel free to ask the Deputy any questions you may have about the procedures being followed. You have the right to request that your name not become a matter of public record. Pursuant to Penal Code 679.04, you have a right to have an advocate present during an interview by Law Enforcement authorities, the district attorney or defense attorneys. Pursuant to Penal Code 264.2, a Deputy will immediately notify Verity for a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, and/or an advocate of your choice, so that you will have a support system to assist you through the entire process. An advocate can accompany and support you at sexual assault medical exams, at police and district attorney interviews, and in court. Verity's advocates will further help you with problems that arise with your family, friends, school, work, or housing. Advocates can answer your questions, inform you of your options, advocate for your rights, connect you to counseling and victim funds, and talk with you at any time. Advocate services are confidential.


    Victim's Rights

    As a victim of either domestic violence or sexual assault, you have the right to...

    • ... be treated with respect, dignity and courtesy no matter what
      your race, age, lifestyle, or occupation.

      ... file a complaint and receive services regardless of the
      relationship between you and the suspect.

      ... the form of communication you find most comfortable.

      ... have a counselor throughout the entire process.

      ... privacy when meeting counselors or law enforcement officers.

      ... receive an explanation about all procedures and forms.

      ... voice complaints and expect to have them heard.

      ... talk about, or not talk about, what happened to you.



    Victim's Resources Important Phone Numbers

    EMERGENCY 9-1-1
    Dispatch 565-2121
    Patrol Desk 565-2650
    Business 565-2511
    Crime Prevention Unit 565-3107
    Sonoma Valley Substation 996-9495
    Guerneville Substation 869-0202
    Roseland Substation 545-7267
    Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit 565-8290 Fax 565-8299
    YWCA 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline 546-1234



      Legal Assistance

      YWCA Temporary Restraining Order Clinic 546-1234/546-7115
      Petaluma Peoples Service Center 765-8488 or 795-6629
      Sonoma County Legal Services 546-2924

        Victim Assistance

        YWCA Counseling for Women in Abusive Relationships 546-1234
        District Attorney Domestic Violence counselor 565-2311
        The Victim/Witness Project 565-2002
        State of California Office of Criminal Justice Planning 24-hour hot line for victims of all types of crimes. (800)-VICTIMS

          Emergency Shelters

          YWCA-Women's Emergency Shelter 546-1234
          Manna House 576-1471
          People for Economic Opportunity Emergency Housing 544-6911

            Crisis Counseling Hotlines

            YWCA 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline 546-1234
            Sonoma County Mental Health 576-8181
            Social Advocates for Youth 546-3432
            Protective Services for Children 565-2246
            Orenda Center Hot Line 528-4141
            United Against Sexual Assault of Sonoma County (UASA) 545-RAPE
            Sonoma Valley Crisis Line 938-HELP

              Emergency Food and Clothing Supply, Transportation, Information and Referral

              YWCA of Sonoma County Rummage Sale 546-9922
              Friends in Sonoma Helping (F.I.S.H.)
              Santa Rosa 565-5151
              Sonoma Valley 996-0111
              Petaluma 762-0330

                Marriage and Family Counseling

                County Mental Health Outreach:
                Cloverdale 894-3313
                Guerneville 887-1331
                Petaluma 769-5270
                Sonoma 996-3644/546-8540

                Family and Community Counseling Services* 545-4551
                California Parenting Institute*
                Santa Rosa 585-6108 / 525-8545
                *A nominal fee may be requested for services.

                  Counseling For Offenders

                  Sonoma County M.E.N. 528-2636