Monday, October 02, 2006

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Sunday marked the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I was joined by City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Councilmember Janice Hahn, Chief William Bratton, members of the city's Domestic Violence Task Force, and local reporter Colleen Williams in honoring the work of Los Angeles' innovative Domestic Abuse Response Teams (DART) and to highlight the programs that the city has to prevent and intervene in domestic abuse situations. DART teams work with the police department by responding to domestic violence incidents and linking victims to shelters, medical attention, legal assistance, and other services. By providing emotional and material support, DART teams give victims a chance to permanently leave a violent home.

The DART program has brought light to hundreds of individuals during their darkest hour. And yet, domestic violence persists in our city and in this country. It is a crime whose emotional wounds remain fresh long after the physical ones have scarred over. Here are some statistics about domestic violence in the United States, courtesy of the LAPD Domestic Violence Fact Sheet:

-A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the US
-Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44
-Nationally, 50% of all homeless women and children are on the streets because of violence in the home

The Domestic Violence Hotline for Los Angeles is (800) 978-3600. More information about domestic violence is available at the department’s Domestic Violence home page.