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Sonoma County Gazette
Self portrait of victim of domestic violence

October is 2017 Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Oct 10, 2017


Imagine being in fear of the person you care about most. Imagine feeling you have nowhere to turn because you lack resources, perhaps have children to care for and you don’t know if family and friends will believe you. It happens every day. Add to that the actual violence that occurs between intimate partners, from a strong grab to homicide. Consider the children who witness the violence and fear for their own safety and their parent’s safety. Ponder the statistics that suggest it will take seven acts of violence before a victim is able to leave the abusive relationship. In the meantime, lives are shattered, and there is collateral damage. A child disrupts the classroom because of chaos at home. An employee misses work. Families are disrupted. The entire community is impacted.

In October we recognize domestic violence in our community and become more aware of what we are doing and what more we can be doing to reduce the violence. Domestic Violence Awareness month focuses on community involvement and resources for victims of Domestic Violence. With a recent increase in domestic violence-related homicides in Sonoma County, awareness is essential to provide those suffering with a way out, and a new perspective. There is help for victims and families to get the tools and assistance needed to be safe.

Victim Services assigns advocates to help guide victims through the criminal justice process, and our compensation unit can assist with filing a claim to cover therapy, medical expenses related to the crime and reimbursement for relocation. Our Family Justice Center (FJC) provides wrap-around services to victims by a wide range of onsite community partners.

- A domestic violence victim can meet with a YWCA advocate to discuss entering the safe house, creating a safety plan and attending support groups.

- Legal Aid services are available to assist with obtaining a civil restraining order.  If a crime report is needed, law enforcement can meet with the client at FJC to gather information and evidence.

- If there are housing issues due to victimization, the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) can screen and provide vouchers for immediate needs.

These are just some of the free resources at the Family Justice Center located at 2755 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Together we can make our community a safer place through education, support and involvement. Please help.

Victim Services: 707-565-8250                                                                                                                                

Family Justice Center: 707-565-8255                                                                                                                

YWCA Hotline: 707-546-1234                                                                                                                            

Homeless Outreach Team: 707-565-8260

Here is a LINK to a CALENDAR of EVENTS to increase awareness of Domestic Violence in our community:

OCTOBER 26: The Mask You LIve In - FILM: a riveting and emotional exploration on American masculinity - doors open at 6:30pm - film at 7 pm. Summerfield Cinemas, 551 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa - (707) 522-0719 -

OCTOBER 26 - Dine & Donate at Mary's PIzza, 535 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa.Please print out the flyer (below) and take it with you so that 15% of your purchase will benefit Sonoma County YWCA

Victim Services Division Overview

If you have been the victim of a crime or witnessed a crime, the Sonoma County Victim Services Division can help you.

The Victim Services program was created by the passage of Section 13835 et seq. of the California State Penal Code, which mandates local comprehensive centers for victim and witness assistance throughout California.

The Sonoma County Victim Services Division is one of the special programs designed to reduce the trauma and insensitive treatment victims and witnesses may experience following a crime. We are committed to helping crime victims and their families reorganize and reclaim their lives. Our staff seeks to make the criminal justice system more understandable, accessible, and responsive to the concerns of victims and their families. We provide assistance from the moment the crime occurs for as long as necessary.

Our Victim Advocates work to ensure that crime victims and their family members are provided the services and information necessary to be an integral part of the criminal case process. It’s our mission to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your voice is heard.

The Advocates can provide the following services:

  • Information on your rights as a crime victim
  • Guidance in dealing with the court system
  • Contact information for local resources and counseling referrals
  • Assistance in filling out applications for the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) to reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses related to your victimization
  • Ongoing support while you learn to cope
  • Spanish speaking advocates are available

The Victim Services Division contracts with CalVCP to provide local claim approval and verification service, which means victims and local services providers receive streamlined and expedited assistance in the processing of state victim compensation claims. The Victim Compensation Unit works directly with the Victim Advocates and CalVCP assisting victims and their families with CalVCP claims.

These services are free and legal residency is not required.

If you would like to find out more about the center’s services:

Contact Information:

Sonoma County Victim Services Division 
A Program of the Sonoma County District Attorney  
600 Administration Dr, Rm. 212-J, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Mail regarding claims should be sent to:
2300 County Center Drive #B170
Santa Rosa, CA 95403 

(707) 565-8250

Marys Pizza Dine & Donate


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