Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-1141 Domestic violence: coercive control.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 18, 2020

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In times of natural disasters and crises, rates of interpersonal violence historically rise, especially among households experiencing significant financial strain.
(b) The COVID-19 pandemic has proven this historical trend to be the reality for survivors of domestic violence as police chiefs nationwide reported increases of 10 percent to 30 percent in domestic violence assaults in the first two weeks after a national emergency was declared in March, also revealing more severe violence as compared with past years.
(c) During the COVID-19 crisis, reports show this is a worst-case scenario for victims experiencing domestic violence, with the data showing the virus is being used as a scare tactic to keep victims isolated from their support systems, or even their children.
(d) Shelter-in-place orders and other restrictions related to COVID-19 have also resulted in victims being isolated from family, friends, and their community.
(e) While some jurisdictions have reported a drop in domestic violence calls, this does not necessarily equate to a reduction in domestic violence. Increased isolation of victims has created an environment where abuse, including coercive control, is more likely to go undetected and therefore unreported.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6320 of the Family Code is amended to read:

 (a) The court may issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, credibly impersonating as described in Section 528.5 of the Penal Code, falsely personating as described in Section 529 of the Penal Code, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, making annoying telephone calls as described in Section 653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, of other named family or household members.
(b) On a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent. The court may order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal.
(c) As used in this subdivision (a), “disturbing the peace of the other party” refers to conduct that, based on the totality of the circumstances, destroys the mental or emotional calm of the other party. This conduct may be committed directly or indirectly, including through the use of a third party, and by any method or through any means including, but not limited to, telephone, online accounts, text messages, internet-connected devices, or other electronic technologies. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, coercive control, which is a pattern of behavior that in purpose or effect unreasonably interferes with a person’s free will and personal liberty. Examples of coercive control include, but are not limited to, unreasonably engaging in any of the following:
 (1) Isolating the other party from friends, relatives, or other sources of support.
(2) Depriving the other party of basic necessities.
(3) Controlling, regulating, or monitoring the other party’s movements, communications, daily behavior, finances, economic resources, or access to services.
(4) Compelling the other party by force, threat of force, or intimidation, including threats based on actual or suspected immigration status, to engage in conduct from which the other party has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the other party has a right to engage.
(d) This section does not limit any remedies available under this act or any other provision of law.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.