Our View: Learn about domestic violence

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On Friday you have a rare opportunity to learn about a problem that has plagued our valley, leading to the deaths of seven Santa Clarita Valley-area residents within seven months last year.

Domestic violence cases may have dropped out of the center of attention since then, with pedestrian deaths, increased property crime and drug problems shouldering to the forefront in headlines.

But it’s still occurring, a crime that claims victims across socio-economic levels and leaves them feeling hopeless and helpless to protect themselves.

Most people don’t want to talk about domestic violence because it’s embarrassing to both families and communities, says Linda Davies, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Center.

“There is a definite place for bystander education,” Davies said during an interview last year. “We have to step up.”

The opportunity to do so occurs Friday as Signal Multimedia and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons host the California Domestic Violence Summit at COC.

You can buy tickets in advance, show up at the door, attend a single breakout session or go all day, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Whether you seek general information or suspect domestic violence is going on in a friend’s or neighbor’s home, a student’s home, within your extended family or within your own household, this is a chance to “step up” and find out more about the crime that shames its victims into silence.

It’s not a family embarrassment; it’s a crime. One that sometimes leads to death.

A hallmark of this community is residents’ willingness to get involved and get informed. We march against cancer and for our children killed in car crashes, we attend symposia to better understand teen drug abuse, we help build homes for our veterans and erect a memorial to our war dead.

Now let’s get educated to fight domestic violence. Denying or ignoring it provides this crime with a safe harbor among us.

Tickets to the California Domestic Violence Summit can be obtained at SCVtickets.com or at the Performing Arts Center door on Friday. Up to 100 Signal subscribers, or 50 with a guest, can go for free by using SIGNALSUBSCRIBER in the promo code.

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