Considering the Many Faces of DV this October—Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

October is the month the nation focuses on domestic violence, an epidemic that impacts thousands of people nationwide every day. It is an epidemic that has many faces.  It is men abusing women, women abusing men, men abusing men, women abusing women, and family members or caretakers abusing the elderly.

Each October, we turn our attention to the many incidences of domestic violence in this country and its impact across the country. Consider some of these staggering facts:

  • One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by an intimate partner
  • Each day, three women and one man nationally are killed as a result of domestic violence
  • The majority of domestic violence victims who are murdered are most often killed within two weeks of leaving their abuser
  • Nearly 10 percent of seniors will experience elder abuse, with 66 percent perpetrated by family members
  • Children are often the silent victims witnessing or hearing the abuse of a parent
  • In Los Angeles, police respond to an average of 48,000 domestic violence calls a year, and filed more than 15,000 reports and made 6,100 arrests for domestic violence in 2014

But there is hope for victims of domestic violence. Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the violence. In one study, 83 percent of victims who were represented by an attorney successfully obtained a protective order, while only 32 percent of victims without an attorney were able to get one.

This is one reason why LACBA’s Domestic Violence Legal Services Project (DVP) is so critical to victims of domestic violence. Working out of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, DVP is one of the busiest TRO clinics in the state. In 2015, DVP staff and volunteers provided over $1,560,000 in pro bono legal services, and since its founding 34 years ago, DVP has helped more than 150,000 people.

While October is the month we shine a spotlight on domestic violence, the dedicated staff and volunteers of DVP are hearing the stories, calming the frightened victims, and creating compelling cases day after day, all year long. 

To learn how you can help, please visitwww.lacba.org/dvp.  Thank you.