By Karen Brainard
Domestic violence, the focus of an awareness campaign by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department this month, has its share of calls in Ramona, and the victims are not always women.
“So far this year we’ve made 48 arrests for physical violence,” said Lt. James Bovet with the sheriff’s Ramona station.
While the majority of calls involve female victims, Bovet said about a third of the time they are male.
“That’s pretty consistent about the last three years here,” he said.
In Ramona the number of reported domestic violence cases dropped from 175 in 2011 to less than 150 in 2012, said the lieutenant. Those cases include physical and verbal abuse, he said. He expects the 2013 numbers to be similar to last year.
Overall for the sheriff’s department, those stats increased — from 3,675 calls in 2011 to 3,965 in 2012.
The sheriff’s department describes domestic violence and emotional abuse as behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. That can include married couples, boyfriend and girlfriend, people living together, divorced couples with children, and an adult and minor.
Domestic arguments can be the root, but substance abuse can also provoke the violence, said Bovet.
Signs of an abuser can include belittling, blaming others when something goes wrong, getting violent when drinking alcohol or taking drugs, using shame and/or guilt to control a situation, and losing temper and throwing things, according to the sheriff’s department.
Anyone fearful of being a victim of domestic violence may visit the Ramona station, which has brochures on domestic violence and a list of references and resources, said Bovet. The station at 1424 Montecito Road may be contacted at 760-789-9157.
Bovet also suggested calling the North County Family Violence Prevention Center at 760-798-2835 or the East County Justice Center at 619-456-9609. In an emergency, call 911.
The sheriff’s department lists resources, red flags for victims, and services, such as getting a restraining order, at sdsheriff.net/dv. The county domestic violence 24-hour hotline is 888-385-4657.