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July 7
1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]


strength united
CSUN students, faculty, staff and Strength United allies gather for Denim Day 2019, a day dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault prevention, in front of the CSUN Library. | Photo: Courtesy Alexandra Strait.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has required people to stay at home as much as possible. For those in abusive households, “Safer at Home” orders heightened the risk factors associated with child maltreatment, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Rates of domestic violence are rising and many victims have understood the order to mean they cannot leave an abusive environment, said Kim Roth, a licensed marriage and family therapist and executive director of Strength United, a chartered center operated through California State University, Northridge’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education to assist those affected by violence, sexual abuse and trauma.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is reporting a 50 percent reduction in child abuse reports, “but we know this does not mean child abuse has decreased — as many cases are typically reported by people outside of the home, when school, daycares and camps are normally in session,” Roth said. Meanwhile, across the nation and citywide, there has been a reported 50 percent increase in calls to provider hotlines for assistance, crisis intervention, safe housing, support and other critical resources.

“It’s really clear that shelter-in-place has had profound consequences on those who do not live in safe spaces,” Roth said. In addition, members of the LGBTQIA+ communities may find themselves living in non-affirming environments contributing additional stressors to those brought about by the pandemic.

In order to meet the growing needs and to ensure the continuation of their services. Strength United moved to a telehealth platform with the support of the campus, using HIPAA-compliant electronic audio/visual methods. Strength United’s Family Justice Center in Van Nuys, which co-locates multiple agencies under one roof to assist those affected by child abuse and domestic and sexual violence, remains open to perform acute forensic evidentiary exams.

Strength United also continues to partner with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Domestic Abuse Response Team, responding on the scene to domestic violence calls.

Roth said Strength United takes particular care to educate callers as to the benefits and risks associated with telehealth. She noted that many abusers heavily monitor a victim’s access to the internet and phone as a furtherance of power and control tactics.

Strength United’s prevention team and Pride United, a Strength United program that provides a safe space and affirming services for the LGBTQIA+ population, have been reducing feelings of isolation by reaching out to the community via social media.

To address the growing needs for safe housing, Strength United, along with 11 other domestic violence support providers, have partnered with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to ensure that people who need to leave unsafe environments can find shelter.

“When the Safer at Home orders were first implemented, we were all very aware that not everyone was safe in their home,” said Chanel Smith, policy director in the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety. “Through two guardian angels, we were able to secure enough funding to house 900 survivors over 10 weeks, to ensure that survivors could be kept safe during these uncertain times.

“Without amazing partner agencies like Strength United, we would not have been able to offer this life-saving resource,” Smith said. “At a time when everyone is scared, they have truly been a stabilizing force for their neighbors and the city as a whole. We are grateful to have them as partners through this pandemic.”

“We’re really excited to be able to provide telehealth,” said Alexandra Strait, one of Strength United’s Campus Care Advocates — a confidential resource on campus for members of the CSUN community. “We’re excited to be able to serve our community in that way. It’s really important to us that people still know that these services are still accessible.”

The move to telehealth has highlighted ways in which some barriers that vicitms have faced in the past, such as finding child care and transportation can be alleviated, Roth said, adding that Strength United is considering keeping telehealth as an option in the future once “safer at home” orders are lifted in Los Angeles County and beyond.

Strength United’s Crisis Hotline, run by CSUN student and community volunteers, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline is offering support to individuals experiencing COVID-19-related anxiety, in addition to services for survivors.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by violence or trauma, call 818-886-0453 in the San Fernando Valley or 661-253-0258 in the Santa Clarita Valley or reach out through @strengthunitedcsun on Instagram and @strengthunited on FaceBook.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Jul 3, 2020
The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020
California State University, Northridge officials have released details for a primarily virtual fall semester, with a handful of graduate and undergraduate courses and labs being offered face-to-face. Named “CSUN as One,” CSUN launched a website for the campus’ fall 2020 instruction and operational plans.
Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom and California legislative leaders reached an agreement on Monday on an amended state budget for 2020-21 which prevents cuts to apportionments and categorical programs for California community colleges.
Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a video/teleconferencing business meeting Wednesday, June 24, with open session from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the nation transitioned to meeting online. Given the abruptness of the transition and lack of preparation parents had in becoming in-home teachers’ aides, many parents and educators are worried about a “COVID slide” or “COVID slowdown,” where students fail to retain any new information learned before and during the pandemic — as well as over the summer, when students are not in school.
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1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]
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Smoke from the Soledad Fire burning near Agua Dulce has caused unhealthy air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains, sparking a smoke advisory from Los Angeles County Public Health officials.
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As firefighters worked through the night battling the Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce, a second blaze, named the Cambria Fire, was reported Monday morning in nearby Placerita Canyon.
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The city of Santa Clarita has canceled the 2020 Concerts in the Park series due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and in accordance with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Safer at Home order.
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After improving the data processing systems, which resulted in no data being reported since Thursday, July 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday reported an increase of 7,232 new cases for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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1850 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall arrives in California to look for gold [story]
Henry Newhall
1914 - Rev. Wolcott H. Evans, the future "pastor of the disaster," named pastor of Newhall's First Presbyterian Church [story]
church
1932 - Robert Poore wins the greased pole climbing contest and $2.50 at Newhall's July 4th celebration [story]
4th of July Parade
Park officials have announced Los Angeles County regional parks and natural areas, which include William S. Hart Park, Placerita Nature Center and Vasquez Rocks, will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing reductions.
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As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspends daily reports until Monday, the California Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed a total of 248,235 cases statewide as of July 2 (up from 5,688 from July 1 and another 2,352 results received), with 6,263 deaths (up 100 from July 1) from the disease.
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The Old Town Newhall Library will exhibit works by Santa Clarita artists created during "The Quarantine Art Challenge" from July 14 to October 9.
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The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services has launched a new website to provide county residents with general program information on DPSS services.
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