SAN DIEGO (KUSI)- San Diego is leading the way in reducing deaths from domestic violence. A recent Washington Post article did an in-depth analysis of women who were killed by their domestic partners in five U.S. cities. Out of the five cities that were profiled, San Diego has the fewest number of deaths from domestic abuse.
Looking at the murder rates per capital, Las Vegas had the greatest number of deaths at almost 2 murders for every 100,000 residents. San Diego had the fewest of the five cities, with just .21 per capita.
According to former San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn, a resource called the Family Justice Center is largely responsible for bringing down homicide rates from domestic violence in the city of San Diego. Gwinn was the founder of the Family Justice Center which provides legal help, medical assistance, therapy and other services under a single roof.
The model of wraparound services for abuse survivors was brand new when Gwinn established the Family Justice Center in San Diego in 2002. As the president of Alliance for Hope International, Gwinn’s present mission is to help other cities around the nation and worldwide set up their own Family Justice Centers.
Thirty-three year old Jenn Lawford, a survivor of domestic violence said she owes her life to the help she received at the Family Justice Center in San Diego.
“I think they saved my life. I don’t know where I would have gone if I didn’t have the Family Justice Center,” Lawford said.
From 2007 to 2017, San Diego had 28 domestic violence murders. Just one of those women was a client at the FJC. The results were similar in other cities with wraparound services.
In Oklahoma City, which recorded 47 domestic violence murders from 2007-2017, none of the victims was receiving help from a Family Justice Center.
“The goal should be to create more collaborative service models because they work. When you look at other Family Justice Centers across America, virtually every Family Justice Center in the country has thousands of women coming to them – and they don’t die.” Gwinn said.
If you need help, you can contact the Family Justice Center in San Diego at 1-866-933-HOPE.