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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Mayor Garcetti Addresses Funding For Domestic Violence Victims

The announcement kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A victim of domestic violence “calls for help every ten minutes” in Los Angeles, said Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday, marking the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

A new audit by City Controller Ron Galperin’s office shows troubling statistics when it comes to domestic violence emergency response. Los Angeles currently spends a fraction of what many other major cities spend to combat the problem, but Garcetti has issued an executive directive aimed at fixing just that.

Mayor Garcetti hugs a survivor of domestic abuse (Whitney Ashton)
Mayor Garcetti hugs a survivor of domestic abuse (Whitney Ashton)

The order would ask city divisions to allocate more funds for domestic violence prevention and response. One organization that would benefit from this change is the Jennese Center, a network of shelters and volunteers ready to accommodate victims of abuse.

One survivor, who goes by “Destiny,” gave a tearful thanks to the organization, saying, “I’m employed now, I just graduated from college. If it really wasn’t for them I could’ve been on the news and somebody else could’ve been raising my kids. 

She had a message for those who may currently be in difficult situations: “I know it’s hard. I know you feel like he loves you, but he doesn’t love you if he hits you. Get out. Enough. Don’t stay. Please.” 

Click here to listen to the full interview with Destiny.

Destiny wants to be a voice for those who are struggling with abusive relationships. “If you’ve never been in that situation, how can you tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do? …I just felt like it was time for me to speak.”

According to the mayor’s office, domestic violence disproportionately affects women of color. However, officials said that domestic violence does not discriminate. It affects people of all races, genders and creeds, and can lead to further problems like mental health issues and behavioral trouble in children.

Mayor Garcetti recalled his father telling him that over eighty percent of prisoners on death row had experienced domestic violence in their childhood homes. “It’s part of a vicious cycle,” said Pamela Bakewell, newly-appointed member of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Chief Operations Officer Adrienne Lamar Snider of The Jenesse Center wants women in abusive relationships to know that its services are available. “Please don’t give up. You can get out of the domestic violence situation. No suffering in silence. Please call the mayor’s hotline number.” That number is: 1-800-799-7233.

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