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October 2023 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Launch Honors Victims and Inspires Change

Post Date:03/18/2024 1:41 PM

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Submitted by County of San Diego Office of Violence Prevention


On October 3, 2023, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, in collaboration with the County of San Diego Office of Violence Prevention and over 35 community partners, hosted the annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month launch event at the historic Balboa Park Club Ballroom. With over 150 people in attendance, the event’s purpose extended beyond raising awareness; it aimed to generate community support and inspire change with the theme of “Let Today Be the Day You Move Forward.”

Every October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed to unify individuals and communities against one of society's most pressing issues. It's an opportunity to show support for survivors, educate ourselves and others about the common signs and consequences of domestic abuse, and strive to further prevent domestic violence within our communities.

According to a 2020 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence fact sheet, 35% of women and 31% of men in California experience physical abuse or stalking by an intimate partner.

The event had an excellent lineup of speakers who were committed to ending domestic abuse in our communities, including:

  • Mara Elliot, San Diego City Attorney,
  • Tracy Prior, San Diego County District Attorney's Office,
  • Tamika Nelson, San Diego County Probation Chief,
  • Kelly Martinez, San Diego County Sheriff, and
  • Wilma Wooten, M.D., San Diego County Public Health Officer.

These inspirational leaders shared their personal perspectives and experiences, their organization’s commitment to partnership, and vision for a world free of domestic violence.

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Ivette Kuyateh, a domestic violence survivor, shared her own story, as well as her mother’s story. Ms. Kuyateh shared that abuse can come in different forms, including financial, emotional, and physical abuse, and it affects people from all walks of life. Being a survivor of multi-generational abuse shaped who she is today and enabled Ms. Kuyateh to be a support for others experiencing abuse.

The San Diego Mesa College Basketball Team, along with advocates from SBCS, participated in a moving candlelight ceremony to honor the 14 people who died in San Diego County last year due to domestic violence. The team participates each year as a way for the players to lead by example and learn about respect, accountability, and community responsibility.

2023 DVAM - Candlelight vigil

The event also celebrated individuals and organizations making an impact through the following six Hope Service Awards:

If someone you know is experiencing abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with interpretation services available in English, Spanish, and over 200 additional languages. The Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence, so they can live their lives free of abuse.

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