Right now you're reading this post. Maybe you're in an abusive relationship. Maybe you know a friend or family member who is in a potentially dangerous situation. Either way, the main point I hope to convey is that help is available.
Last year our office filed 3,038 cases across the county that were related to domestic violence. Sadly, 11 cases involved murder.
Too often, our victims of domestic violence are scared to come forward. Scared to make the phone call. Scared of retribution by their abuser. Scared of the unknown that lies on the other side of their current situation. These are all valid feelings, but it’s important to point out that nobody deserves to be a victim. Nobody. And if children are involved we need to consider the tragic impact that domestic violence has on them.
At the end of last year we saw a terrible case come to light in which 28-year-old Ashley Atherley was beat and stabbed to death by her husband, Edly Atherley, who had a history of domestic violence. I still remember standing on the steps of the San Bernardino Police Department beside Ashley’s parents and vowing to seek justice not only for Ashley but for her two little girls who are left without a mother and her family members.
When it comes to fighting for our victims and seeking justice, fortunately, our attorneys in the Family Violence Unit, who are all specially trained to deal with these types of crimes, feel the same way.
Sadly, we see these types of cases far too often across the county. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It affects all walks of life, and women are not the only ones who are victims. I started this post by saying maybe you're in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, so my charge to you today is to pick up the phone and take action before it's too late.
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Call our victim advocates who are available to help. Call a friend or someone you trust because no one deserves to be a victim.