Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in partnership with local businesses and community organizations, will commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month throughout the month of October. The Mayor’s domestic violence awareness initiative, S.A.F.E. (Stop Abuse From Existing) is a long-term commitment to reduce domestic violence and teen dating violence in the City’s communities through a variety of linked strategies.
“To experience an act of violence from someone you love and trust is traumatic, and I know personally that the hurt and despair can stay with you forever,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as a survivor of abuse and as Mayor of Los Angeles, I have worked to leverage every resource at my disposal to ensure that no one else has to endure this cycle of violence.”
Next Thursday, the Mayor will show his support for domestic violence victims at a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a film chronicling the domestic abuse of a former Verizon employee who was murdered by her husband. The event is sponsored by Journey of Hope, an organization led by family members of deceased domestic violence victims and Verizon Wireless.
As part of this awareness month, Verizon Wireless and the Los Angeles Police Foundation have launched a “Text to Donate” program. Anyone, regardless of cell phone carrier, can text LAPF5 to 20222 to donate $5, or LAPF10 to donate $10. Proceeds will benefit programs of the Los Angeles Police Department’s domestic violence prevention and intervention programs.
One of the main programs benefited is the City’s Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). DART is a law enforcement-based crisis response team that pairs civilian advocates with LAPD police officers to respond to reported incidents of domestic violence. For the first time in our City’s history, every LAPD Division has a Lieutenant who is designated as a domestic violence coordinator and is responsible for coordinating domestic violence cases with an advocacy group in that division.
In 2005, the state stopped funding DART, but the City stepped up its commitment and has doubled the program over the last six years. In 2010, the LAPD received 48,042 domestic violence-related calls and reported 20,467 domestic violence-related crimes. Domestic violence crimes decreased by 7% from 2009 to 2010.
Both public and corporate partners are promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month by helping to “Turn LA Purple,” the official color of the awareness campaign. LAX, Capitol Records, L.A. Live and Staples Center are among the buildings that feature purple lights throughout the month.
Also part of the awareness month, Verizon Wireless and the City of Los Angeles are conducting a HopeLine phone and accessory recycling drive benefiting survivors of domestic violence. Since 2001, HopeLine has awarded more than $30 million in cash grants to domestic violence agencies and has collected more than seven million phones.
To learn more about the Mayor’s Domestic Violence initiatives or if you or someone you know are looking for help, please visit www.safela.org.