A host of Santa Clarita agencies banded together this year to create a new task force aimed at turning the tide on domestic and family violence in the Santa Clarita Valley.
This year the Santa Clarita Valley has seen an unprecedented number of homicides, the majority of which were domestic and family violence related. This prompted Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Captain Roosevelt Johnson to start a new task force that meets monthly to comprehensively address this community issue.
Today, the DIVERT,or Domestic Intervention Violence Education Resource Team, website launches, providing a “one-stop-shop” for survivors of domestic violence, their families, and those who care about them. Every local entity that provides treatment, services and help to survivors of domestic violence and their families is represented on the Task Force and on the new website.
“Whether someone is a victim of domestic violence, is afraid for their life, or they know someone who is in a family violence situation, the time is now to act and the DIVERT website provides the help victims and their families need right now,” explains Captain Johnson.
“It’s a fact that one out of four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime. At the Domestic Violence Center of the SCV, we offer everything from a 24-hour crisis hotline, temporary restraining orders and emergency shelter for survivors and their children, to counseling, parenting classes and support groups,” explains Linda Davies, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center of the SCV and a member of the DIVERT Task Force. “Women who need help and don’t know where to turn should call us first,” she added.
The Task Force is focusing on education, outreach and enforcement to affect real change and work to stop domestic and family violence incidents in the community.
On the enforcement side, the District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s department teams work closely to assure that victims testify and perpetrators are punished. Additionally, trained domestic violence advocates are working with the Sheriff’s department to provide additional education and support to deputies and victims in the field.
In the area of outreach and education, the DIVERT team has pulled together information about classes, programs and seminars offered by a myriad of local agencies to provide specific help to victims, perpetrators and their families. This includes special, often court-mandated, programs for abusers, as well as targeted programs and services for children.
The DIVERT Task Force is comprised of the following organizations:
5th District for Los Angeles County
Child & Family Center
City of Santa Clarita
College of the Canyons
Department of Children and Family Services
Domestic Violence Center of SCV
Emerge From Anger Program
L.A. County Department of Mental Health
L.A. County District Attorney’s Office
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department
L.A. County Special Victims Bureau
For more information about the DIVERT Task Force or efforts to raise awareness about family violence and local resources, please contact Gail Morgan, Communications Manager for the City of Santa Clarita, at (661) 255-4314 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.