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County of Santa Clara Hosting Workshop on Domestic Violence Information and Resources for LGBTQ Community

 
WHAT:
The County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy and the Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative are gathering representatives from County agencies and community based organizations to assist members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) community on domestic violence issues and resources.  
 
This workshop is for professionals, advocates, attorneys, social workers, probation officers, therapists, medical care, and other service providers working with clients who have experienced intimate partner or domestic violence in same sex or transgender relationships.  
 
A panel of experts will lead a Question and Answer session.  Topics to be discussed are law enforcement response, how to navigate the system and obtain legal assistance, and services for domestic violence victims.  A resource fair with over 30 services represented will follow. Services include around-the-clock crisis hotlines, social services, housing and emergency shelters, LGBTQ resources, immigration, legal, mental health and substance abuse counseling.
 
WHO:
County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy
Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative
Billy de Frank LGBTQ Community Center
Local experts from the courts, domestic violence agencies and law enforcement, community therapists and service providers
LGBTQ Victims of domestic violence, family members, friends, or coworkers of someone in a dangerous or abusive situation
Participants interested in law, social work, psychology or other related fields who want to learn how to report and get help for victims, or are willing to take actions against domestic violence
 
WHEN:
Monday, August 12, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
 
WHERE:
Billy de Frank LGBTQ Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San José, CA
 
WHY:
According to the Center for American Progress, while many victims of domestic violence grapple with issues of shame, LGBTQ victims have an additional burden.  To obtain information and appropriate help from law enforcement, courts and victim services, lesbian and gay victims must reveal their sexual orientation, commonly referred to as coming out of the closet. Based upon a 2010 study on Intimate Partner Violence, the number of report LGBTQ domestic violence incidents has increased by 38 percent since 2009. Also, less than half of LGBTQ victims who sought an order of protection received one.  More than 1/3 of survivors were turned away from shelters.  Deaths from domestic violence in the LGBTQ community have increased since 2008. 
 
Victims of domestic violence in Santa Clara County are encouraged to call (800) 799-SAFE (7233), where a confidential advocate may help them. 
 
 
Speakers include Superior Court judges, attorneys, therapists, social workers, representatives from the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, Billy de Frank, Bay Area Legal Aid, Families First, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, the Court Self Help Restraining Order Center, the YWCA, and the Department of Family and Children Services.  Service providers from Santa Clara County, San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda Counties through APILO will be attending.
 
No registration is necessary. Refreshments will be offered at no cost to participants. For more information, call (408) 299-5135 or email owp@ceo.sccgov.org  
 
 
DISCLAIMER: To protect participants’ confidentiality, media representatives are encouraged to interview workshop coordinators prior to the event.
 
Available for interviews, prior to event:  Amy Caffrey, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
and LGBTQ Domestic Violence expert, (408) 504-3487.
 
 
Background
 
Each year there are thousands of calls made to the police for assistance in domestic violence incidents in Santa Clara County. In 2012, law enforcement officers referred approximately 3,962 non-lethal cases of domestic violence to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office for review. The Office of the District Attorney filed charges in 2,259 cases (1,849 misdemeanors and 410 felonies). Santa Clara County’s family courts issued 1,996 domestic violence restraining orders in 2012. This means hundreds of survivors went to criminal and family court, a large majority of those survivors self-represented in family court, to obtain safety for themselves and their children.
 
During 2012, there were 9 domestic violence related deaths. Three of the 9 cases included a domestic violence suspect who committed suicide. This is a decrease from the 17 domestic violence related deaths in 2011, which was the largest number of deaths in Santa Clara County since 2003. There were 144 domestic violence related deaths in the County from 2000-2012.
 
About the Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative:
 
The DVIR Collaborative currently includes the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, the Superior Court, the Office of the District Attorney, the Sheriff’s Department, the Probation Department, South Bay Labor Council, the Domestic Violence Intervention Collaborative and over 50 service providers and agencies assisting victims of domestic violence.
 
The collaborative has hosted nearly 30 workshops with agencies and services providers who may help the community understand and navigate the system to assist victims of domestic violence.  Outreach has expanded to underserved communities. Attendance has grown from approximately 60 participants and providers to more than 200 in the most recent workshops.
 
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Office of Women’s Policy (408) 299-5142; Amy Caffrey, LMFT, Local expert in DV & LGBTQ (408) 504-3487
Posted: August 7, 2013