Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Family Justice Center

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On September 15, 1982,  Regina's life was changed forever following an altercation between her mother and father.

"I was affected by domestic violence when I was younger, I was six-years-old and we lived in Texas with my mom and dad,  and my dad was a very abusive man", said Regina. She says she was watching television with her brother when the unimaginable happened.

"My brother and I were watching through the doorway and I remember my mom saying put the gun away, the next thing my mom was running and he shot her. I laid on the ground next to my mom, I remember she had blood on her chest and he pointed the gun and told us to leave and then she just stopped breathing", said Regina.

Unfortunately Regina is not alone. Domestic violence cases have nearly doubled within the last six years in Kern County.

"I don't think there is any situation where a man is justified in hitting a woman", said Lisa Green, Kern County District Attorney.

Green says over the course of the last three years, the D.A.'s office has had nearly 8,000 cases dealing with domestic violence. The troubling statistic is the reason why the Kern County District Attorney's office is spearheading the opening of a new family justice center.
 
"What we hope to provide to domestic violence victims is one location where they can talk to the Alliance, to GBLA, or substance abuse counselors", said Green.

The Kern County District Attorney's office is collaborating with over 20 area partners to bring the justice center to life.
 
"The main challenge is trying to support the victim to go forward to testify against the abuser", said Green.

The district attorney's office says the center will hopefully help to end the cycle of abuse.
 
"This is something that we can help children to not think this is normal, that violence is not normal in the home", said Green.

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