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Domestic Violence Issues Take Center Stage for Denim Day

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Photo by Nathalie_Renaud via Flickr

Photo by Nathalie_Renaud via Flickr
Elected officials are keeping to a theme today and for good reason -- Denim Day aims to raise awareness about preventing sexual and domestic violence. The Los Angeles City Council this morning officials declared April 2010 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and today as Denim Day. A few floors above in City Hall, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a domestic violence initiative and up in Sacramento, Secretary of State Debra Bowen called for passage of legislation that would help the state combat domestic violence.

Safe at Home has helped more than 5,000 Californians regain the security they deserve and start new lives with confidential name changes, allowing them to safely register to vote, have their mail forwarded to a secure location, and more,” said Bowen of the program that could become permanent if a bill is approved by state politicians. “Making the Safe at Home program permanent will assure participants that their anonymity will be permanently protected.”

SB 1233 by Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach) was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote and will be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee next Monday.

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At City Hall, Villaraigosa announced a new domestic violence initiative that is supported by a $1.1 million grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The money will go towards new training programs, technology for tracking cases, the city’s Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) that pairs victim advocates with police officers to respond to domestic violence incidents to provide crisis intervention and the Stop Abuse from Existing (SAFE) Campaign, which recently launched a website.

“Today we stand together to speak out and break the silence in support of victims of domestic violence,” Villaraigosa said. “This new initiative will connect victims with needed resources and will work to increase the prosecution of perpetrators.”