The LA Sheriff’s Department took 10,290 domestic violence reports in 2016 and has taken 8,859 reports so far this year. Motivated by the scale of the problem and its wide-ranging impacts, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis to intensify the County’s efforts to address domestic and intimate partner violence (DV/IPV).
The motion will relocate the County’s Domestic Violence Council to the Department of Public Health and provides permanent funding and dedicated staff to support the work of the Domestic Violence Council.
Supervisor Kuehl said, “This motion moves domestic/intimate partner violence to the forefront of County thinking and planning, and demonstrates the Board’s recognition that DV/IPV is deeply implicated in other County programs such as homelessness. Two years ago, a report on homelessness showed that almost two-thirds of the nearly 14,000 women experiencing homelessness had been victims of domestic or intimate partner violence. There is so much more that we must do to protect and support survivors of DV/IPV, and we are going to move quickly to do it.”
“Elevating and strengthening the role of the Domestic Violence Council is one of the most important steps we’ve taken in years to address the impact of domestic violence on families across Los Angeles County,” said Amy Goldman, an attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County whose organization provides legal assistance to survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence. “The proposed changes will allow the Council to inform policy, ensuring the needs of survivors are considered in areas such as housing, community safety, healthcare and public benefits.”
Recent research on domestic and intimate partner violence indicates that its consequences include not only short-term impacts on the immediate physical and mental health of the survivor and the loss of his or her housing but also has long-term physical and emotional health consequences, including negative effects on children who are exposed to it.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is a lifelong champion of equality and fairness for women, children, and families. Since joining the Board of Supervisors in December 2014, she has authored four motions (including today’s) regarding domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Prior motions have called for improved data collection on services available to DV/IPV survivors, and the development of strategies to better serve those survivors who may be homeless or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.