Public Safety

Hoping to Stop Family Violence

Domestic violence occurs in all ethnic and racial groups. It affects rich and poor alike. Worst of all, it can get passed down from generation to generation.

Thousands of people gathered in Balboa Park Saturday to raise awareness of domestic violence and to help stop the cycle of violence. The rally and candlelight vigil was attended by victims, prevention advocates, and supporters.

HOPE in the Park is one of many events taking place in October, which has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The participants rallied for a family violence-free day throughout the region.

“We must do everything we can to help bring awareness to domestic violence and help victims get out of these dangerous relationships,” said Nick Macchione, Director of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency, one of several sponsors of HOPE in the Park.

HOPE in the Park is also sponsored by the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, the County Commission on Children, Youth, and Families and First 5 San Diego.

“Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic factors,” Macchione said. “Keeping all families in the region safe and healthy is at the cornerstone of the County’s initiative to build better health,” Macchione added.

While domestic violence has decreased over the past few years, about 17,000 domestic violence incidents were reported to law enforcement in 2010. Last year, 14 people were killed in domestic violence incidents.

The County’s Domestic Violence Hotline receives more than 5,600 calls every year and about 500 women and children seek shelter from their abusers on any given day in San Diego County.

The abuse can be physical, mental, verbal or sexual. Perpetrators may also use financial control or legal status to control their victims. Alienating the victim from co-workers, family and friends is another way of controlling them.

Other warning signs of domestic violence include:

  • Frequent injuries or “accidents”
  • Frequent absences from school or work
  • Harassing phone calls from the partner
  • Fear of partner
  • Personality changes
  • Excessive fear of conflict
  • Submissive behavior

People in immediate danger should call 9-1-1. Help is also available at the County of San Diego Domestic Violence Hotline at (888) DV-LINKS (385-4657).