Domestic violence addressed

By Mike Morris, The Union Democrat October 09, 2013 11:30 am

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Supervisors reviewed statistics that include 133 domestic violence arrests by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department and 40 arrests by the Angels Camp Police Department from July 2012 through June 2013.

Additionally, the Resource Connection Calaveras Crisis Center sheltered 60 domestic violence victims and helped with 167 restraining orders during that time period. 

“Domestic violence turns homes into places of fear, hopelessness and desperation when a man or woman is abused by their partner, a child witnesses the abuse of a loved one or a senior is victimized by a family member,” the resolution states. 

Kelli Fraguero, director of the crisis center, and Dana Pfeil, a prosecutor with the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, spoke to the board.

Pfeil said there is often repeated abuse before domestic violence is reported. 

“We see a lot of repeat offenders with what we do, unfortunately,” she said. 

Fraguero told supervisors that about 735 children were witnesses to domestic violence in Calaveras County last year, adding that the violence often leads to behavior and anger issues.

She urged county residents to report domestic violence to law enforcement.

“Just reaching out and asking if the victim needs help shows them that there are people in the community who are willing to help,” Fraguero said. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, an audience member — dressed as a bride with a brown paper bag on her head — held a sign stating “Stop Domestic Violence.” She then told the board about her personal experience with an abusive partner. 

Those wanting information or support can call the crisis center’s 24-hour hotline at 736-4011.

Also Tuesday, supervisors:

• Voted to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown opposing state Assembly Bill 711, which would require the use of non-lead ammunition for hunting. “Hunting is a very viable activity here in Calaveras County,” said Supervisor Debbie Ponte. 

• Heard presentations by staff of the Calaveras County Fair and the University of California Cooperative Extension. 

• Decided to hold their regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 26, two days before Thanksgiving.