Kern County DA, countywide law enforcement officials raise awareness, honor domestic violence victims | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-10-22 20:01:00 –

Angelica Zuniga reached her limit in 2013.

She has an abusive relationship with traffickers and has been in the sex industry since the age of twelve.

After a while, now 29 years old, she wanted. But Zuniga didn’t know where to get help.

Eventually, she sought help from the alliance against family violence and sexual assault. Zuniga, another advocate of trafficked youth, told her story on Friday at the Khan District Attorney’s Office event at the Family Justice Center on Oak Street, which was organized to raise awareness of domestic violence. Did.

“I just wanted to be that voice to the other victims,” ​​Zuniga said.

Khan County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer started the event by recognizing the impact of domestic violence on women and men, regardless of social class, race or religion. The center door opened in 2018 and supporters have helped more than 10,000 victims since then. She added that workers helped 700 people in July, August and September, the busiest districts since the center opened.

“I’m worried that domestic violence seems to be on the rise, but there’s also hope that we’re looking for services to end the cycle of violence,” Zimmer said.

According to DA, Bakersfield police officers respond daily to calls for domestic violence. Another speaker, BPD police chief Greg Terry, urged members of the community to speak out against domestic violence. He added that security is ensured through education and advocacy.

“We promise to protect this community, protect the victims of violence, and speak,” Terry said. “But … we all need to reduce domestic violence in our community.”

Many women of color feel trapped in dangerous situations because they do not speak English. Their abusers may curse them by saying that no one can help or threaten deportation. The Sikh Women’s Association has partnered with the Family Justice Center to establish a hotline for Punjabi-speaking women and increase access to these communities, and co-founder of the association, Raj Blur. Said.

“They don’t have to suffer silently and shouldn’t suffer alone,” Blur said. “Thanks to the Family Justice Center, they are not alone.”

Sheriff Donnie Youngblood added that the murdered Deputy Philip Campus and Deputy Richard McHale, who died in 1989, died after responding to a domestic violence incident. Everyone is at risk and he advises the victim to call for help.

Elizabeth Ruelas, director of the Family Justice Center, said their services are confidential and may provide some comfort to the victims. She watches how many people feel safe as they walk through the door.

“They go out understanding that it’s their choice,” Ruelas said. “They make the final decision on how they want to proceed.”

She recalls a man who requested service from the Family Justice Center after reporting the abuse to law enforcement agencies 11 times. He felt like no one believed him, Ruelas said.

“Whatever his gender, he was a victim of domestic violence,” she added. “I treated him with the same respect as any other individual.”

Zimmer said he would like to open a new family justice center in Lamont in the winter of 2022.

You can reach Ishanidesai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her on Twitter @ idesai98.

Kern County DA, countywide law enforcement officials raise awareness, honor domestic violence victims | News Source link Kern County DA, countywide law enforcement officials raise awareness, honor domestic violence victims | News

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