Beyond the Crisis: A Long-Term Approach to Reduce, Prevent, and Recover from Intimate Partner Violence

Image for Website

Report #256, January 2021


Millions of Californians experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and California must do more to prevent this abhorrent abuse and help survivors, the state’s independent government watchdog recommends in a new report.

In Beyond the Crisis: A Long-Term Approach to Reduce, Prevent, and Recover from Intimate Partner Violence, the Little Hoover Commission calls on California to strengthen efforts to address this violence by implementing a statewide strategy focused on prevention and early intervention. This is the Commission’s second report studying California’s response to intimate partner violence. Its first report on the topic, released last May, urges the state to provide grant funding to service providers in up-front payments rather than reimbursements.

“Far too many Californians struggle to receive the help they need to escape their abuser,” said Chairman Pedro Nava. “This is unacceptable, and our recommendations can help transform the state’s response to this horrible violence.”

Intimate partner violence has a devastating impact on communities across the state. One third of women and one quarter of men in California will experience it in their lifetime, and rates are even higher for people of color and those who are transgender. Abused women are more likely to drop out of school, earn less in the workplace, and experience higher rates of physical and mental health disorders than their non-abused peers.

In addition to the dire human cost, intimate partner violence exacts a heavy burden on California taxpayers through medical, criminal justice, property damage, and other costs. The Commission urges the state to appoint a leader responsible for overseeing progress on implementing a more rigorous, strategic approach to preventing intimate partner violence and helping survivors recover from its effects.

“It is crucial that California strengthen efforts to combat this heinous abuse,” said Commissioner Janna Sidley, chair of the Commission’s subcommittee on the state’s response to intimate partner violence. “Our state needs a designated leader who will take charge of this critical issue.”

The report also focuses on the deadly intersection of firearms and intimate partner violence, and calls for more resources for enforcing existing firearms laws. It also details the challenges survivors face accessing support services and establishing financial independence, and urges the state to do more in these areas.

“These recommendations, together with our first report on intimate partner violence, will enable California to better address this violence and assist innocent survivors,” said Commissioner Cathy Schwamberger, member of the study’s subcommittee. “It is time for commitment and coordination.”

Written testimony from hearing witnesses can be found in the corresponding event agenda.

Written testimony from hearing witnesses can be found in the corresponding event agenda.

Relevant Reports

Intimate Partner Violence: Getting the Money to Those on the Front Line
(Report #249, May 2020)

In the News

Get help: If you, or someone you know, are experiencing domestic violence and need assistance, the National Domestic Violence hotline can help. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. If you fear a victim is in immediate danger, please contact 911 to report his/her location to the police.