The Bishop City Council at its meeting Monday passed a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Bishop.

Bishop Mayor Stephen Muchovej said the proclamation, requested by Wild Iris Executive Director Matias Bernal, addresses an issue that has only intensified in the last year throughout the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And our valley is definitely not immune to that,” Muchovej said.

The proclamation notes that although progress has been made toward breaking up this cycle of violence and providing support to victims and their families, much work remains to be done.

“ … advocates and organizations work on behalf of victims everyday,” according to the proclamation. “Domestic violence shelters and services, law enforcement officials, health care providers, court systems and legal aid providers, tribal organizations and others are all an integral part of the effort to end domestic violence and must be recognized and applauded for their work.”

The proclamation emphasizes the need to increase the public awareness and understanding of domestic violence and the needs of victims as it impacts men, women and children across all racial, ethnic, cultural, social,  and economic groups in the United States and California.

The proclamation, the entirety of which can be found on the city’s website, www.cityofbishop.com, includes that:

• The marginalization of certain groups in society, including undocumented individuals, transgender individuals and people living with disabilities increases their vulnerability to intimate partner violence

 • According to the American Psychological Association, women with disabilities have a 40% greater risk of intimate partner violence than women without disabilities.

• American Indian women residing on reservations suffered domestic violence and physical assault at rates 50% higher than women of other races and at least 70% of this violence is committed by persons of another race.

• Domestic violence has a significant economic impact on women throughout the country. An estimated eight million days of paid work are lost as the result of intimate partner violence.

• Among families, domestic violence is the third-leading cause of homelessness.

• Women 18 to 24 years of age are significantly more likely to be victims of physical intimate partner violence than women in other age groups.

• On average, 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.

• On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

• Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center, which serves Inyo and Mono counties, received 6,460 calls to its hotline in 2020.

Wild Iris offers free and confidential support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse and their families.

Callers to the agency’s hotline, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including holidays) can expect support, understanding, crisis intervention and information and referral to programs and agencies.

Wild Iris offers an array of prevention and intervention services. Its services are provided at no charge and are completely confidential.

24-hour crisis line: 1-877-873-7384 – Available 24/7 for times of crisis. Trained peer crisis counselors are available to provide immediate counseling, information and resources.

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