New Campaign to Combat Domestic Violence Kicks Off
October 12, 2018
By Ana Gomez Salcido
With the start of national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced that her office, along with its law enforcement and community partners, is unveiling a high-profile community outreach campaign called “Now is the Time” that addresses the ongoing crime of intimate partner violence. The billboard and literature campaign gives tools to domestic violence victims, witnesses and offenders to take action, to get help and to make a difference in San Diego County.
Partnering closely with the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, the District Attorney’s impactful campaign provides the community with a better understanding of how to recognize domestic violence and what to do about it. More than 60 billboards will be displayed across San Diego County with five different messages directed at domestic violence victims, offenders and those who might see something happening in their community or with their loved ones. In addition, wallet cards and postcards – in English and in Spanish – are being provided to community organizations for distribution. The campaign is being funded by a grant from the California Office of Emergency Services.
“People may not know where to turn for support, how to help a friend, how to recognize the signs and how to take action,” Stephan said. “We want victims to know that help is available to get them out of an abusive relationship and provide protection. We also want friends, families and co-workers to know there is a way they can support someone who is experiencing abuse, and offenders need to know it is possible to stop the cycle of violence.”
Last year, there were more than 17,300 incidents of domestic violence reported in San Diego County – a 4 percent increase from the year before. Last year, law enforcement referred 6,859 domestic violence cases to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
A bright spot in the figures shows that domestic violence homicide is down. Last year, seven people were killed by their intimate partner, down from 12 the year before and 16 in 2015 – a 50 percent drop in a two-year period.
“Even though deaths are down, one person killed is too many,” Stephan said. “That’s why we want to spread the word about the Now is the Time campaign. Domestic violence tears families apart and is the single greatest cause of injury to women in the United States.”
The San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott also announced an outreach campaign to encourage victims of domestic violence to seek justice and begin healing.
“We work with a team of dedicated professionals to help victims become survivors. You’re safe at the Family Justice Center,” Elliot says in a 30-second television spot, which includes subtitling in Spanish.
Several San Diego and Baja California TV stations will broadcast the television spot through October, and some will air the segment from November through January.
The Family Justice Center, which is run by the City Attorney’s Office, provides domestic violence victims and their children wraparound services in a private and secure setting where assistance is available to anyone regardless of immigration status. Its professional team includes nurses, mental health practitioners, prosecutors, domestic violence advocated, immigration specialists, interpreters, and other social service providers.
The San Diego Family Justice Center can be reach at (866) 933-4673. Victims of domestic violence or people that may know someone who is a victim of domestic violence can also call at 1-800-799-7233.