Public Safety

County Teams Up With Athletes to Fight Domestic Violence

Now is the time to stand up against domestic violence. That’s the message County officials and three well-known local athletes—professional skater Tony Hawk, San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram and BMX champion Alise Post—are urging in a new public service announcement that has begun airing on Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable channels.

The three athletes joined San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore and Supervisor Dave Roberts in the spot.

Recent statistics reinforce the need for this reminder. Nearly 17,000 domestic violence incidents were reported in San Diego County in 2013, an increase of 2 percent over the year before.

“Everyone has the right to be safe,” said Sheriff Gore. “If you are a victim of domestic violence, protect yourself by seeking assistance.”

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

A sampling of 100 domestic violence cases investigated by the San Diego Sherriff’s Department in 2013 indicated that children were present in 37 percent of these incidents.

“Domestic violence can happen in any neighborhood and can bring crisis to any family,” said Supervisor Dave Roberts. “Victims need to know they are not alone and that help is readily available.”

During 2014, the DA’s Office issued  488 domestic violence felony cases and 1,066 misdemeanor related cases.

“The DA’s Family Protection Division is dedicated to holding abusers responsible and at the same time we’re working closely to support and protect victims,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “In recent years, we’ve added a high-risk review team that evaluates the most serious cases in an effort to prevent domestic violence from escalating.”

If you or someone you know is being abused, call the San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-DVLINKS (1-888-385-4657). The hotline is answered by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is bilingual, confidential and referrals may be provided for services in every region of the County. It offers information such as domestic violence shelter bed availability, counseling referrals, batterer’s treatment information, and assistance with safety planning.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

In addition, the DA’s Office offers services to victims and witnesses of all types of crimes. For a complete list of services offered, visit the DA’s Office online. Assistance is provided from the moment the crime occurs for as long as assistance is needed; there is no cutoff for assistance by the program. 

You can also visit the Sheriff’s Department web page on domestic violence. It includes warning signs of an abusive relationship and a video demonstration on how to get a restraining order.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact