COAST CITIES — A San Diego County woman had the hair ripped out of her head and was shoved out of a moving vehicle before she got help with her abusive relationship.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The San Diego County Sheriff’s department is reminding citizens that it offers free resources to help prevent violence in a relationship.
The abused woman, whose name is withheld to protect her identity, told authorities that her relationship with her boyfriend had started out fine.
“When I met her, she had two black eyes and her face was swollen,” said Det. Angela Pearl of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Pearl deals specifically with domestic violence cases, and said they generally follow progressive steps that begin with a relationship that is going fine but at some point there is an aggression in a partner that can include verbal abuse, demoralizing the victim, financial control and isolating the other person from family.
Then the abuse turns physical, which can include slapping and punching, Pearl said.
She said drug and alcohol abuse by a partner can be a red flag warning sign, and although it doesn’t always lead to domestic violence, “it almost goes hand in hand with cases we get.”
The county offers resources such as family counseling, and encourages a partner to seek counseling help if they think they are in a relationship that may escalate to physical violence.
Pearl said that if a woman is comfortable saying, “I’m afraid of you” to a partner who is showing signs of potential abuse, then they can benefit from attending counseling together.
She said if a victim is aware of the resources and takes the initiative to contact somebody, they can help prevent the relationship from becoming physically violent and criminal.
Pearl said that that the woman she worked with who had been thrown out of a moving vehicle ended up succeeding in the programs available for victims who have already suffered physical abuse.
“After she began going to domestic violence meetings, I didn’t recognize her. She was happy,” she said.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, which became law in March 2010, new guidelines ensure women receive preventive health services without additional cost, including domestic violence screening and counseling, according to President Barack Obama in his Oct. 3 proclamation
of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, some signs of an abusive relationship that may lead to domestic violence are:
— Your partner exhibits extreme jealousy
— You are overly concerned about what kind of mood your partner is in
— Your partner prevents you from seeing your friends or family, or alienates them so that they are uncomfortable being around
— Your partner threatens to hurt or kill you, your children, your family, friends or pets
— Your partner yells at you, reprimands you, or demeans you in public
— Your partner hits, slaps, pushes or shoves you, pulls your hair, or inflicts physical injury on you in any way
— Your partner prevents you from getting or keeping a job
Your partner keeps you from leaving the house or locks you out of the house.
The Domestic Violence hot line is 1 (888) 385-4657.
The North County Family Violence Protection Center can be reached at (760) 798-2835.
For more information on county services, visit