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L.A. County Supervisors to Provide Permanent Staff and Funding to Address Domestic Violence
By Lookout Staff
November 8, 2017 -- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved relocating its Domestic Violence Council to the Public Health Department, saying the scale of the problem -- which has generated 8,859 reports so far this year -- requires a home in an agency which can provide permanent staff and funding.
The motion, co-authored by 3rd District Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis (of the 1st District), said it will help the county intensify efforts to address domestic and intimate partner violence (DV/IPV).
“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,” said Kuehl.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department took 10,290 domestic violence reports in 2016 and has taken 8,859 reports so far in 2017.
Tuesday’s motion relocates the County’s Domestic Violence Council to the Department of Public Health, a step “elevating and strengthening” the panel’s role in taking on the issue, said Amy Goldman, an attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County.
The organization provides legal assistance to survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence.
Goldman said the move 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."
“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,” she said.
“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,” a county report said.
Tuesday’s motion includes requiring staffing increases of one full-time Deputy Executive Officer, one full-time Health Program Analyst III and one full-time Staff Assistant II position in the Department of Public Health.
It also seeks to ensure the expanded staff for the Domestic Violence Council will be shared equally between the county departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health and Public Social Services and include “funding adjustments in the CEO’s mid-year budget adjustment and in future budget phases, as needed."
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