A community of healthy, violence-free relationships and families. An organization which embraces collaboration and exchange, controversy and creativity, and at its core - change. An organization which values the diverse community we live in; bringing that diversity into the work of the Council, and implementing programs and policies which communicate respect for that diversity.
To develop, promote and enhance creative prevention and effective intervention initiatives, which will reduce the amount of violence in intimate relationships; to bring people together - in coalitions and committees - to build healthy families in San Diego County.
WHAT IS THE SAN DIEGO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COUNCIL?
The San Diego Domestic Violence Council was established in 1989 by a county-wide network of battered women's programs, criminal justice agencies, and other organizations and individuals who shared the common goal of ending violence against the people and animals in the City and County of San Diego.
The Council's stated purpose is to have a community of healthy, violence-free relationships and families in San Diego County by:
• Developing, promoting and enhancing creative prevention and effective intervention initiatives which will reduce the amount of violence in intimate relationships.
• Bringing people together - in coalitions and committees - to build healthy families in San Diego. The Council is made up of over 300 member organizations. We have an Executive Committee consisting of a President, Past President, President Elect, Treasurer and two Members-at-Large. The Executive Committee is guided by the Council?s Board of Directors, whose members include committee chairs and advisory representatives.
WHY THE COUNCIL IS NEEDED
We must work together systematically to address and prevent the overwhelming incidents of violence in our families. Statistics on the prevalence of domestic violence are staggering. Every year, 1,510,455 women and 834,732 men are victims of physical violence by an intimate. It means that every 37.8 seconds, somewhere in America a man is battered. Every 20.9 seconds, somewhere in America a woman is battered. Six children in every classroom witness domestic violence and four of these six children are direct victims of abuse and/or neglect. Studies show that child abuse occurs in 30-60 percent of family violence cases that involve families with children. It is estimated that 3.3 to 10 million children in the United States witness domestic violence in their home yearly. Domestic violence in same-gender/gender-variant couples is believed to be as prevalent and lethal as in heterosexual couples. Teen relationship violence is equally alarming, 1 in 5 female high school students? reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide. Studies estimate that between 70% and 85% of cases of abuse against disabled adults go unreported. Women with disabilities had a 40% greater risk of violence than women without disabilities. Violence often involves animals. It is estimated that 88 percent of pets living in households with domestic abuse are either abused or killed. Of all the women who enter shelters to escape abuse, 57 percent have had a pet killed by their abuser.
The intent to present the aforementioned statistics is to highlight that domestic violence can happen to anyone and anywhere. Violence usually escalates over time, leading in some instances to homicide. Victims are often trapped by a number of economic, social, religious, cultural, and emotional barriers in relationships with partners who are usually expert at convincing a woman that "it will never happen again." Fear is the number one trap. Victims are in the most danger when leaving the batterer.
We as the San Diego Domestic Violence Council are working to respond to the crisis of domestic violence whilst working toward prevention. We recognize that we have an organizational and personal moral obligation, we hold a collective commitment and shared responsibility, and we are committed to working together in an environment of reciprocity and mutual support to prevent all violence.
WHAT IS THE COUNCIL DOING ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
• Share information about domestic violence - Provide educational and training programs to people who work with victims (police, doctors, teachers, and counselors)
• Work with local, state and federal resources, organizations, and consumer-survivors to respond to the crisis of domestic violence whilst working toward the prevention of family violence.
• The Council meets once a month to convene people, knowledge, resources, and highlight community efforts. This is a wonderful opportunity to network and build lasting collaborative relationships.
• Once a week, members of the Council receive an e-blast that contains the most up-to-date training, information, job opportunities, grants and community activities known to the council. Please join us in the prevention of violence
Dawn Griffin, PhD
President, San Diego Domestic Violence Council