Family Violence Council Issues FY 2016 Report on Family Violence in San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2018
Contact: Minouche Kandel, Director of Women’s Policy, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women; 415-572-6482, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Francisco Family Violence Council Issues FY 2016 Report on Family Violence in San Francisco
Over the past 11 years, the City has increased funding for Violence Against Women services by 262%, from $1.83 million to $6.77 million;
Community-based organizations are the front lines of responding to domestic violence and child abuse, fielding 21,211 domestic violence clients and 13,933 child abuse clients in FY 2016.
Report finds 53% increase in 911 domestic violence calls involving a gun (from 15 to 23 calls), and 87% increase in domestic violence calls involving a knife (from 46 to 86 calls);
Almost three times as many lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students (21%) report sexual dating violence compared to heterosexual peers (8%);
People of color disproportionately represented in District Attorney’s Victim Services across all forms of family violence. Despite making up just 5.6 percent of the population of San Francisco, Black victims account for more than a quarter of the total victims supported;
The report covers data from 15 city public agencies and 27 community-based organizations on child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse. In 2016, across domestic violence and child abuse, community-based organizations responded to almost ten times as many cases as the Police Department.
Speaking jointly, the Family Violence Council tri-chairs Katie Albright, Executive Director of Safe & Sound; Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Consortium; and Shawna Reeves, Director of Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging, said: “Family violence is a life and death issue, with weapons frequently used to control and maim. As in previous years, the report demonstrates that trusted community-based organizations are a critical first-line of support for many victims of family violence, who would otherwise endure abuse alone and remain at high risk of injury or even death. The City and County, in partnership with non-profits that provide critical and life-saving services, keep our families safe.”
The report also provides data on who is experiencing abuse. Across child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse, people of color were disproportionately represented in District Attorney Victim Services, and – for domestic violence – in community-based services. Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual youth are also disproportionately victimized. President of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, Debbie Mesloh, said: “As widespread cases of sexual assault and harassment continue to make headlines, it is disturbing to learn that our lesbian, gay and bisexual students are almost three times more likely to experience sexual dating violence.”
“The Family Violence Council plays an essential role in our strategy to create a safer San Francisco,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “To address an issue effectively, you need to understand it – and this report shines a light on what is happening behind closed doors across our city. I am committed to working with the Council to ensure every victim of family violence receives the support they need.” Dr. Emily Murase, Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, which convenes the quarterly meetings of the Council, added: “We are taking an honest look at child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse, so that we can respond where it is most needed. We respect the willingness of City agencies to share sometimes sensitive data in our collaborative effort to address family violence.”
The FY 2016 Comprehensive Report on Family Violence and a 2-page Highlights are available at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women website: http://sfgov.org/dosw/family-violence-reports