Data Limitations and Information provided by the California Department of Justice.
Domestic violence is defined according to Penal Code section 13700(b) as abuse committed against an adult or a fully emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
Abuse is defined according to Penal Code section 13700(a) as intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.
The definition of “domestic violence” is subject to varying interpretations by law enforcement agencies. As a result, different types of domestic violence relationships may be included in the database.
Included in the data are any cases that resulted in a report being written by the responding LEA. Therefore, data include both cases where an arrest was made and those where circumstances did not warrant an arrest.
Domestic violence-related calls for assistance that involved the use, or threat of use, of a firearm, knife or cutting instrument or other dangerous weapon are reported according to the type of weapon used regardless of the outcome or injury.
In 2002, law enforcement agencies were given clarification about reporting personal weapons. This clarification corresponds to a notable decrease in the number of personal weapons reported. The use of a personal weapon such as hands, fists, or feet was reported as a weapon only if the assault was considered an aggravated assault under Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines. An aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury, such as broken bones, internal injuries, or cuts requiring stitches.
In 2017, California Penal Code section 13730 was amended. Beginning in 2018, law enforcement agencies were instructed to include whether there were indications that the incident involved strangulation or suffocation. This includes whether a witness or victim reported such an incident, or symptoms thereof, or whether an officer observed any other indications of strangulation or suffocation.