Domestic Violence Reporting

Overview of Domestic Violence Expungement and Record Sealing

Seal Domestic Violence ArrestMost people know that committing an act of domestic violence or abuse can result in serious consequences, such as paying fines, facing jail time, and/or having a felony or misdemeanor on their criminal record. What is commonly unknown is that by neglecting your civic responsibility to report domestic violence and/or abuse, you may also be subject to serious consequences.

Eligibility Test

According to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), “anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or a felony.” While you may not be personally inflicting injury on others, by not reporting suspected or known domestic violence and abuse, you are allowing the domestic abuse to continue, and therefore become a liability, or an accessory, to domestic violence.

There are many reasons why people do not report domestic abuse. Some witnesses to domestic violence feel removed from the act, assuming that it is not their place to interfere with the personal lives of others by filing a complaint on behalf of the abused party. Others assume that either someone else will report the event, or they are afraid to make a report because he or she is uncertain of what they witnessed.

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic abuse, it is your responsibility to defend yourself and/or your loved one(s) by reporting the person responsible for the domestic violence.

Take a Stand and Report Domestic Violence

If you know of any occurrence of domestic violence, whether it is physical abuse or psychological/mental/emotional abuse, it is your obligation to report the incident. While there may be a penalty for not reporting domestic violence such as having to pay a fine or even a possible jail sentence, according to DFPS, “a person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability”. This means that anyone who honestly suspects any occurrence of abuse, such as domestic violence, cannot be charged with slander or liable in the event that the report turns out to be a misunderstanding.

There are many places that you can call to report domestic abuse such as the police department, your state’s local abuse hotline, or The National Domestic Violence Hotline, to name a few.

If you have a domestic violence case in California, there is a great domestic violence resource at