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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Local Programs Issue Call to Action
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the   Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium of Santa Clara County (DVAC) is encouraging community members to help end domestic violence for the health and safety of our community.
 
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in four women in the country reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life. On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Although it affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race or religion, women are much more likely than men to be victimized by a current or former intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice).
 
Last year, there were 16 deaths related to domestic violence in the County, the largest number since 2003. From 2002-2010, there were 100 domestic violence related deaths causing incalculable trauma, pain and loss in our community. In fiscal year 2012, 23,700 individuals called our local domestic violence crisis hotlines. 418 survivors and 317 children accessed our emergency shelters. 21,257 bed nights were provided, but more were needed.
 
“The statistics are daunting but working together we can increase victim safety and hold batterers accountable,” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Director, Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy (OWP).  OWP works closely with the DVAC, the Domestic Violence Council, law enforcement, advocates and others who work daily on these complex issues.
   
 “There are many events that have been organized this month. We encourage all residents to get involved and take a stand against violence,” added Cynthia Hunter, Director of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium.
 
There Are Things You Can Do: Recommendations from the Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium of Santa Clara County
 
1. If someone you know is being abused, be supportive and non-judgmental. Survivors need to know that they are not alone and that the abuse is not their fault. They need someone who will believe and listen to them.
 
2. Respect the survivor’s decisions. They may leave and return to the relationship many times.
Learn more about domestic violence at www.futureswithoutviolence.org.
 
3. Know that safety planning and support can help save someone’s life. If you or someone you know needs help or services, please call one of the local 24 hour confidential hotlines or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Everyone has the right to live without fear or violence.
 
4. Give a contribution of time or money to a Santa Clara County nonprofit domestic violence organization. Your donation will be received with appreciation and put to work immediately.
 
5. Men can help end violence against women and girls by being a positive role model for boys and young men.
 
This month and every day, we urge Santa Clara County residents to get involved to help end domestic violence in our community. Please join one of the many events that have been organized to raise awareness this month.
 
Local Crisis Hotlines:
·        AACI Asian Women’s Home
24-Hour Hotline (408) 975-2739
 
·        Community Solutions
24-Hour Hotline 1-877-363-7238 or 1-877-END-SADV
 
·        Maitri
Helpline 1-888-8MAITRI or 1-888-862-4874
 
·        Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
24-Hour Hotline (408) 279-2962
 
·        YWCA Silicon Valley
Domestic Violence Department Support Network Program
24-Hour Hotline 1-800-572-2782
www.ywca-sv.org
 
For more information on local events please visit https://sites.google.com/a/dvconsortium.org/2012-dvam-events-santa-clara-county/.
 
About The Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium of Santa Clara County
The Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium of Santa Clara County is a collaboration of nonprofit domestic violence organizations that have collectively provided over 35 years of service to victims and their children. The Consortium catalyzes leadership, resources and survivors’ wisdom to promote safety, justice and healthy relationships in Santa Clara County.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Shirley Zackor, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Cynthia Hunter, Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium (408) 480-2361
Posted: October 19, 2012