West Valley City calls attention to problem of domestic violence
Nov 19, 2019 02:20PM
● By Darrell Kirby
West Valley City police, city leaders and community members wave to passing motorists in front of city hall to bring awareness to domestic violence. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)
By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]
West Valley City is not immune from incidents of domestic violence that afflict the United States.
Officials with the city say they receive hundreds — even thousands — of reports each year of alleged abuse involving family members and others with close relationships.
With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, West Valley City did its part to call attention to the problem and resources available to victims locally.
A "honk and wave" was held in front of City Hall facing Constitution Boulevard followed by city officials, police and community members assembling kits to help victims displaced from their homes because of abusive situations. Mayor Ron Bigelow read a proclamation declaring October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city.
Sharla Hansen Perett, victim services coordinator for West Valley City, says there is a definite increase in reports of local abuse.
“It’s also interesting to watch the increase in the severity of the victimization that is being reported. The abuse is getting more and more damaging, more and more toxic than it has in past years, which is definitely scary to me and scary to us as a department," she said.
And it's not just women and children who are victims. "We have multiple male victims in our caseload as well,” said West Valley City prosecutor Amy Jones.
Hansen Perett says multiple support services are available through her office and other public, private, and nonprofit organizations to help people affected by domestic violence. They include
emotional, physical and legal resources. “We try to do a wraparound program with each victim so they are utilizing everything that is available to them.”
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says "Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men." One in three women and one out of four men have suffered physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner, the coalition adds.
West Valley residents who believe they are victims of domestic violence can call the Victim Services office at 801-963-3223. The after-hours crisis line is 801-231-8185. For emergencies, dial 911.