Los Angeles -- Amidst unfolding allegations against several NFL players, City Attorney Mike Feuer today called for a change to the national conversation and a comprehensive approach to end domestic violence. Feuer was joined by Chief Charlie Beck of the LAPD as they called for victims to come out of the shadows and report domestic violence crimes and seek help.
"Domestic and family violence isn't just an NFL problem. It's a fact of life in too many homes across our nation every day," said City Attorney Mike Feuer. "We can and will do more to break this cycle of violence. And victims need to know they are not alone--that we will stand up for them and help protect them."
"Domestic Violence is a crime that affects so many in so many different ways" said Chief Charlie Beck. "I am always disappointed when I see that our society has not evolved to a point where these acts of violence no longer occur. The recent highly publicized incidents are certainly a reminder to all of us, that we still have much to do in terms of education, prevention and enforcement. I look forward to a day when we will no longer have the need to discuss this horrible blight.”
Feuer and Beck encouraged victims to seek help and call 911 when violence occurs and following an incident seek assistance through the 24/7 Los Angeles County Hotline at 800-978-3600.
Feuer detailed some of his Office’s efforts to end family violence:
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND GANGS
While gang intervention on the street is a critical part of addressing gang violence, those who are violent in our communities often bring that violence to their homes and families. Violence at home impacts our children, who are then prone to perpetrate violence themselves.
Supports the work of the DV/Gang committee in developing a cross-training curriculum. That training teaches gang interventionists to recognize and assess domestic violence. It also teaches domestic violence service providers to recognize and provide effective services for those survivors who have gang connections themselves or are victims of gang member abusers.
Eve Sheedy is the City Attorney’s Counsel for Domestic Violence Policy and founded the DV/Gang Nexus Committee which brings together gang interventionists, domestic violence service providers, law enforcement, probation, the Department of Children and Family Services and others to look at how to end this cycle of violence from home to the street and back again.
Hosted a Domestic Violence Gang Symposium, where experts in both fields met to develop a blueprint for how to best address these issues together.
CHILDREN EXPOSED TO VIOLENCE
In far too many homes across this City, children are living in fear because of domestic violence. This violence traumatizes these children, and research shows that children who witness violence suffer in much the same way as children who are abused themselves.
Science has shown that exposure to violence as a child actually changes his or her brain chemistry in harmful ways. Many of these children experience sleep difficulties, poor concentration, and problems in the school setting. Later in life, destructive behavior often results such as drug and alcohol problems, depression, increased suicide attempts, truancy, and health problems. It also sustains the intergenerational cycle of violence as these children often grow up to abuse or be abused. Appointed Tracy Webb, a senior prosecutor in his Office, to be Counsel on Children Exposed to Violence Initiative and Crimes against Children. Earlier this month, every prosecutor in the City Attorney’s Office was trained by a national expert on how to work with traumatized children in the criminal justice system to help them feel safe, secure and supported.
In February, will host a Youth Conference along with community partners to bring together youth leaders to share their insights into violence in their homes and communities and to develop specific recommendations for preventing violence and promoting healthy relationships in our youth.
Working to establish children’s rooms in the City Attorney’s Office, and in several courthouses in LA, where children can feel safe while adults talk to them and while they are waiting for court. Developing other programs with our community stakeholders to identify and support children exposed to violence in our communities.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND GUNS
Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination. Each week in the United States nine women are shot and killed by their spouse or intimate partner.
Appointed Deputy City Attorney Greg Dorfman to the newly created position of Gun Violence Prevention Coordinator. Taking action to enforce the laws already on the books and work with our community partners to inform the public of how the laws can help protect them and their families.
Put in place a protocol with LAPD which helps to identify all domestic violence defendants who own firearms so that appropriate gun laws can be enforced.
Under current law, any person who is served with a domestic violence restraining order with a domestic violence restraining order or criminal protective order must surrender or lawfully sell their registered firearms within 24 hours of being served with the order. This protocol requires LAPD to include an Automated Firearms System printout with their filing packet in all domestic violence cases submitted to our Office. This helps prosecutors identify those individuals, file appropriate gun charges if warranted, and ensure that the defendant complies with the law and surrenders their firearm.
An ongoing public awareness campaign in partnership with Women Against Gun Violence and Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater LA.