October proclaimed domestic violence awareness month

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Local officials are using their pens to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The Colusa County Board of Supervisors and Colusa City Council proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to show their support for a local effort to address domestic violence issues in the community.

The Williams City Council is expected to take a similar action this evening.

On Oct. 8, Board of Supervisors Chairman Kent Boes presented a proclamation to representatives of Karen’s House, a non-profit organization committed to providing services in Colusa County to victims of domestic violence.

“We began Karen’s House because of Karen Garcia, the young woman who was murdered here in Colusa almost two years ago,” said Karen Marks, who accepted the proclamation.

Salvador Garcia-Vaca, Karen Garcia’s boyfriend, who has been charged with her murder, was arrested for battery on Dec. 29, 2017, less than two weeks before her death.

According to their proclamation, the Victim Witness Program of the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office provided services to 143 cases last year, of which 57 were related to domestic or family violence.

“As citizens of a law-abiding and just society, we must make a commitment to reduce and eliminate domestic violence, to raise awareness of this crisis in our communities, to help victims break free from the cycle of violence, and to hold offenders accountable for their crimes,” the proclamation states.

Marks said Karen’s House has actively raised funds from events and grants to possibly open a domestic violence shelter next year.

Meanwhile, Casa de Esperanza, in Yuba City, provides services and shelter to domestic violence victims from Colusa County, which the Colusa City Council recognized at their Oct. 1 meeting.

“The problems of domestic violence are not confined to any group or groups of people but cross all economic, racial, affectional preference, and social barriers, thereby affecting society as a whole,” said Mayor Greg Ponciano, in reading the proclamation. “In our quest to impose sanctions on those who break the law by perpetrating violence, we must also meet the needs of victims of domestic violence and their children, who often suffer grave financial, physical, and psychological loses.”

Both the Board of Supervisors and City Council recognized the important work of both organizations in providing domestic violence programs and services. ■