The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union. (Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia #54)

For Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Hotlines in San Diego County:

San Diego County Domestic Violence 24 hour hotline at 1-888-DVLINKS.

Center for Community Solutions at (888) 385-4657

YWCA’s Battered Women’s Services at (619) 239-2341

All services are 24-hour hotlines that are staffed with persons who can evaluate situations and make referrals for counseling, legal assistance, shelters, support groups, etc.

National Domestic Violence Hotline provides assistance in 200 languages.  (800) 799-7233

Recommendations from the San Diego Police Department

You are a victim of domestic violence, and police officers are summoned to your home. You are possibly injured, in fear, and do not know what questions to ask for further HELP! The following guidelines will assist in answering those often difficult questions that you may have in your time of need.

    • File a crime report and get a case number. A detective will contact you about the case.
    • Should you choose to remain in your present relationship, your safety is extremely important. Consider keeping an emergency bag packed with clothing, money, emergency telephone numbers and/or toys for children.
    • Many batterers, unless held accountable, will batter again! We recommend obtaining a restraining order. A temporary restraining order (TRO) will be granted for a period of ten days. If the order is granted by the Family Court Judge, it is recommended that you give a copy of the restraining order to the Marshal, so that the offender can be served. Both you, and the offender will be ordered to return in ten days, so it can be finalized for a period of THREE YEARS.
    • Make copies of the restraining order, so you, family members, friends, neighbors and your employer can be aware of the situation. If you have the restraining order BEFORE you call the police, give a copy to the officer.
    • Keep a record of all violations of the terms of the TRO or EPO. Keep it in a secure place. Report all violations to the detective in charge of your case.
    • Change your home locks.
    • Consider getting a dog.
    • Get an unlisted phone number. Tell your family and friends not to give out the number to anyone else.

Answers to many questions about domestic violence are contained in a consumer education pamphlet entitled “Can the Law Protect Me from Domestic Violence?” published by the State Bar of California. It can be ordered by calling (888) 875-5297.

The San Diego Family Justice Center, the first center of its kind in the United States, provides help and hope to women, men and children who are victims of family violence and sex trafficking. Every day victims find safety, protection from their abuser, legal help, counseling, food, clothing, spiritual support, medical assistance, and so many other free services from the Center’s professionals and volunteers.

Dr. Christauria Welland, clinical psychologist, serves on the Advisory Board of Catholics for Family Peace at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She is also the founder and director of Pax in Familia, an international Catholic ministry dedicated to peace-building and to ending abuse and violence in Catholic families. Dr. Welland presented her healing Pathways Workshop, “Claves para Prevenir y Sanar las Heridas de la Violencia Familiar” in September 2018. In addition to speaking on several continents, she was invited to speak at the World Meeting of Families in 2015. Dr. Welland has a private practice in Solana Beach, and is the author of several books, including a Spanish-language treatment program for those who abuse.  Her books are available for free download, including How to Can We Help to End Violence in Catholic Families?  A Guide for Clergy, Religious & Laity  in multiple languages on the Pax in Familia website.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence works with local coalitions and federal agency partners to advocate for survivors, provide resources and training to organizations, and help coordinate efforts to address violence against women nationwide.

Parish Domestic Violence Ministry Resource

US Conference of Catholic Bishops: When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women (English & Spanish)

Safe Place Faith Community Outreach Team

Since 2016, we at Ascension’s Safe Place Faith Community Outreach Team have been actively working to raise AWARENESS of domestic violence, whether physical and/or emotional, within our parish and the community-at-large. By working with the clergy and creating an accepting environment, we encourage victims to reach out for help and CONNECT TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES like the San Diego Family Justice Center. We work to PREVENT intimate partner violence in our parish and our community by providing a variety of lay services:

  • Posting domestic violence facts and information in our bulletin
  • Tabling after Mass to distribute brochures with contact information to community resources
  • Praying for victims and perpetrators in our Mass intentions
  • Coordinating and publicizing events led by professionals on topics such as abuse and healthy relationships


Angela Elfman, Chairman                                                                                          Safe Place Faith Community Outreach Team                           

Deacon James Scull, SPFCOT Consultant                                                                Ascension Catholic Church                                                      

Fr. Chuck Dahm, O.P., is a Dominican priest and the Chicago Archdiocesan Director of Domestic Violence Outreach.  As Director, he has preached on domestic violence in more than 140 parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and developed in ministries in over 100 parishes.  Fr. Chuck also holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He joined us in San Diego in January 2019 for his Healing Pathways talk, “Raising Awareness on Domestic Violence.”  To learn more about the Chicago Archdiocesan Domestic Violence Outreach, please click here.  Fr. Chuck’s parish ministry program inspired Safe Place Faith Community Outreach Team above.

Please watch Fr. Chuck’s video, “The Catholic Response to Domestic Violence.”