District Attorney’s Office to Offer Domestic Violence Victims Direct Access to Child Support Options

August 28, 2013

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 of (415) 740-5134
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

SAN FRANCISO – In honor of Child Support Awareness Month, District Attorney George Gascón announced today that his office’s Victim Services Division is partnering with the Department of Child Support Services to educate victims of domestic violence about their child support options.

“Studies show that 90% of domestic violence victims would like child support if it can be done safely. By removing barriers and providing access to child support services, we hope to help victims obtain the financial stability necessary to rebuild their lives,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “That is why we are partnering with the Department of Child Support Services to ensure child support and law enforcement work together to reduce incidents of domestic violence and recidivism.”

According to the Department of Child Support Services, over the past three years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases that are identified as having incidents of violence between the two parties. More and more, victims of domestic violence, who are also parents, are requesting child support services to help them stabilize and increase their ability to provide for their children.

“The Department of Child Support Services is honored to partner with the District Attorney to provide services to victims of domestic violence. We look forward to a successful collaboration,” said Karen Roye, Department of Child Support Services Director.

The District Attorney’s Office, along with the Department of Child Support Services, will hold office hours on the 1st and 3rd Monday, from 9am to 11am of each month, at 850 Bryant Street, 3rd Floor. Victims of domestic violence will be able to make appointments or drop in and meet with Child Support Services representatives that can provide guidance and information about their child support options.

The District Attorney’s Office provides comprehensive advocacy and support to victims and witnesses of crime. Services are provided in English, Cantonese, and Spanish.

• Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street
• Wednesdays, 11 am to 1 pm at Mujeres Unidas y Activas, 3543 18th Street
• Wednesdays, 9:30am to noon at Cameron House, 920 Sacramento Street.
• Thursdays, 2 to 5pm at the Bayview YMCA, 1601 Lane Street
• 3rd Fridays of each month, 10am to 12:30pm, Glide, 330 Ellis Street

Victim Advocates assist victims of serious and violent crime in filing claims with the State Victim Compensation Program, offer crisis intervention and emergency assistance and provide help navigating the criminal justice system. Advocates work with victims, witnesses and their families to identify community resources and make referrals to medical and mental health care providers. The Victim Services Division also helps in securing restitution, assisting with witness relocation, and meeting transportation needs for eligible individuals. In 2012, the Victim Services Division served 5,410 victims representing a 12% increase in caseloads from 2011.

The Department of Child Support Services helps parents to establish paternity for their children, establish child support and medical support orders, provides support order enforcement, and collection and distribution of child support and spousal support payments. In addition to support order establishment and enforcement services for an overall caseload serving 13,822 families, they provide a variety of programs to assist parents with barrier remediation, connections to employment resources, and child support debt repayment alternatives. The main office is located at 617 Mission Street with business hours 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday.