Domestic violence in Oregon is often a mixture of both civil and criminal law. Oregon’s family laws protect adult victims and children from domestic abuse and violence, and Oregon’s criminal laws provide a means to prosecute offenders in the criminal justice system.
What Is “Domestic Violence?”
The NCADV defines DV as:
…the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. [It’s] an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
What Can You Do If You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence?
If you have been or are presently a victim of violence or abuse, the most important thing you can do is establish immediate safety. That is: Remove yourself from the risk of harm (by staying with relatives, friends, or a shelter), or remove the abuser (by requiring the abuser to leave your residence and maintain distance through means of a court-ordered restraining order).
Keeping Yourself Safe from Electronic Breadcrumbs
Today’s desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones all leave electronic breadcrumbs in the form of search histories, search recommendations or autocomplete, cookies, and image caches. If you are searching for information online, your abuser can likely see that if they have access to your devices or accounts. For example, your Google search history contains details about what you’ve search for, where you’ve been, and even voice recordings if you’ve used Google Assistant.
If you are in an abusive, violent, or controlling relationship, it is critically important that you understand how electronic devices store information, and the history of activities of the device (e.g. personal computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones or cell phones). If you suspect that your abuser is monitoring or checking your usage of the Internet, you may want to consider using a friend’s cell phone or a shared computer (such as a public kiosk at the library). For more information on this issue– and for more information generally on technology and safety– please visit ComputerHope.com.
Domestic Violence Resources for Oregon
- Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Domestic Violence Resource Library: Searchable directory for specific domestic violence resources (for men, women, LGBT, etc).
- Domestic Violence Laws: Oregon laws concerning domestic violence.
- Oregon Department of Human Services Resources
- Oregon Judicial Department Resources (forms)
Resources in Portland, Oregon
- The Gateway Center: 503-988-6400
- Portland Women’s Crisis Line: 503-235-5333
- Domestic Violence Resource Center: 503-469-8620 (24 Hour Help Line)
- Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office (DVCO): 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE, National Domestic Violence Hotline)
- Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence: 503-230-1951