BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Domestic violence is defined as violence committed by someone in the victim’s immediate circle. That is what Kern County Sheriff's Office says took place on Sunday in the shooting in Wasco that killed 5 people including a sheriff’s deputy.
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Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia is sympathetic and understanding with the family and the community during this time. Garcia shared that this incident is nothing new and it is important to work with law enforcement to make progress.
“We know and recognize domestic violence and these other afflictions are not unique to Wasco. They impact communities all over Kern County and across this nation. What we need to do more is work hand in hand with our public safety partners like we have in Wasco and furthermore with our mental health services partners.”
What Is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse, also called "domestic violence" or "intimate partner violence", can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can occur within a range of relationships including couples who are married, living together or dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
Louis Gill, CEO of the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault (AAFVSA) says domestic violence incidents happen often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes.
“Violence, it does not ever start out being fatal," said Gill on violence in relationships. "It starts out being controlling and then grows physical and then can become unfortunately fatal.”
While there has not been a dramatic increase in the community according to Gill these events do bring attention to the domestic violence cases that happen throughout the year. Gill says it is important to remember that violence in a relationship is not okay.
"If you find yourself in a relationship that violence is a part of it," said Gill. "First off, the most important thing is that love does not include violence. That is not normal and that is not a part of it.”
According to the Kern AAFVSA you may be abused if you:
- Have little or no say in decisions.
- Are not able to go places or talk to people without causing a fight.
- Are not allowed to go to work or school.
- Are afraid of your partner’s temper.
- Feel an urge to “rescue” your partner because your partner is troubled.
If you find yourself in a domestic violence situation there are resources available to you. You can call the 24-hour hotline number at (661) 327-1091 and it is fully confidential.