Asking for Help

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IF YOU NEED PROTECTION RIGHT NOW, you should call 911,

  • or a local law enforcement agency, or
  • domestic violence shelter, or
  • the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-SAFE.


Handling a court case can be difficult and confusing. For this reason, many people consider getting expert help.

For free and low-cost legal help in California:

Go to the California Courts website for help from these groups below: click here. Opens new window

  • Court-based self-help services
  • Legal aid agencies and other non-profit groups
  • Government agencies
  • Lawyer-referral services and bar associations
  • Dispute resolution programs

For specific information about help in Contra Costa County, California: click here.


In domestic violence cases, most people need more than just legal help.
For example:

  • The people involved, and their children, may be afraid, or have a hard time dealing with their feelings or emotions at this time.
  • They may also be worried about where they will live, or how to find work or pay for childcare.

Please know that there are people who want to help. Sometimes it takes talking to several people before the right person is found, so ask everyone what he or she recommends. Don't give up!


Some other resources or options to consider include:

  • Go to a library, buy a self-help book, or look on the internet.

    • To find your nearest California Public Law Library in your county, click here. Opens new window

  • Domestic Violence Information and Resources: Domestic violence shelter and support staff, Victim Witness Assistance program, or crisis hotline; batterers treatment or anger management groups.
  • Help for teens and dating violence: See the WomensLaw.org Opens new window website. 
  • Mental health information: Counselor, crisis hotline, social worker, or other health professional specializing in domestic violence; books, videos, and other materials;
  • Spiritual support: Priest, minister, rabbi, or other religious leader informed about domestic violence;
  • Employment information: Local unemployment agency or other department;
  • Help with child care: School districts, local job training programs, and area preschools;
  • Information about and support for children affected by domestic violence: Schoolteacher, children's counselor, youth leader, pediatrician, books, videos, and other self-help materials;
  • Support during mediation or court proceedings: Battered women's shelters, Victim Witness Assistance programs.
  • Mexican citizens living in Northern California can now get free legal help 24 hours a day through a hot line launched by the Bay Area's Mexican Consulates. Callers will speak with a lawyer or paralegal who can handle questions related to immigration, labor law, family law, and civil and criminal matters. 1-800-668-1005
  • More Helpful Links Opens new window


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