MENDOCINO Co., 4/4/20 — The tragic killing of a Willits woman, allegedly at the hands of her husband, has shocked the community, and many are speaking out about the problem of domestic violence. Assemblyman Jim Wood, who represents most of the North Coast issued this statement on the subject, noting that in the pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place order means being trapped with an abuser. He also lists many of the various resources avaliable to people in these circumstances.
Domestic violence, and intimate partner violence, of some kind has been one of the primary causes of homicides, and missing people in Mendocino County for the past few years: In Feb. 2018 Andrew Crowningshield, 27, murdered Autumn Renee Smith, 22, with whom he shared a child; in Jan. 2019 Krissy Orbon, 32, and her son Damian Michael Wilkins, 8, were killed by Damian’s father, Michael Wilkins; Khadijah Britton went missing in Feb. of 2018 in a disappearance that is widely believed to be a likely murder at the hands of an ex-boyfriend; in June 2019 Yareli Diaz is alleged to have killed her infant daughter, Mia Cielo Diaz, by leaving her in a car, unattended for many hours; in July 2018 father and son Calixto and Miguel, of Covelo, were shot and killed by Ubaldo Ramierz, their son and brother respectively, on the Ridgewood Grade. This is a partial list of the people killed by intimate partners and family in the past couple years, here in Mendocino County — the list of people gravely injured is of course much longer.
Here is the press release from Wood’s office:
Assemblymember Jim Wood Wants Public to Increase Awareness of the Dangers of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – See Something, Say Something
SACRAMENTO—Today Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) asks the public to raise their awareness of the dangers of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially during this time when people are being asked to shelter in place.
“The recent passing of a woman from Mendocino County, allegedly from an attack by her husband who had been arrested numerous times for domestic abuse, is a grim reminder of the tragedy of domestic abuse and sexual assault,” said Wood. “We are now asking people to isolate and shelter in place in their homes, which should be a place we rely on to be safe.”
For people who are experiencing domestic violence, mandatory “stay home” directives that have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 have, in fact, trapped victims in their homes with their abusers, keeping them apart from people and resources that could help and support them.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports an increase in the number of callers reporting that their abusers are using COVID-19 to increase their isolation from friends and family. In a statement on their website, they say “In a time where companies may be encouraging that their employees work remotely, and the CDC is encouraging social distancing, an abuser may take advantage of an already stressful situation to gain more control.”
“Every county in the district I represent – Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino and Sonoma – has resources to help both victims and the public. I have put many of them here on my website, along with other COVID-19 resources, and would ask that if you know of someone or see someone experiencing or vulnerable to this abuse or assault, please seek advice about how you can help,” said Wood. “These folks are more vulnerable than ever during this period of isolation and greatly depends on others to protect them.”
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Domestic Abuse-Sexual Assault Resources-Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties
In these uncertain times, we are all feeling varying degrees of stress and anxiety. I want to make sure that we are all thinking of our relatives, friends and neighbors who may be or become victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. One in four families will experience violence in the place they should feel most safe, within their own homes. The increased stress of staying at home may increase, or even create, acts of violence. I have identified some of the primary resources in the five counties I represent for people who need help. If you see something, say something—that person may not have the opportunity to reach out on their own.
- Interactive map of California resources: https://www.cpedv.org/domestic-violence-organizations-california
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 or TTY 800-787-3224 or text LOVEIS to 22-522
- Tips for talking to a friend: https://www.domesticviolenceinfo.ca/tips-for-helping-a-friend/
- In emergencies, call 911
County resources: These organizations are the first organizations to call (unless it is an emergency). They can help with your immediate need and can refer you to other longer-term supportive services.
Humboldt Domestic Violence Services: 707-443-6042 (24/7) or toll free 866-668-6543 (24/7)
Del Norte County:
Harrington House, 707-465-3013 (24⁄7)
Tolowa Dee-Ni Nation: 707-487-3175 (24/7)
Human Response Network: 530-623-HELP (24/7)
Ukiah area: 707-463-HELP (24/7)
Fort Bragg area: 707-964-HELP (24/7)
YMCA Hotline: 707-546-1234 (24/7)