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Raising Awareness Of Domestic Violence

The Issue

More women are victims of domestic violence than of burglary, muggings and other violent crime combined. Most attacks on women (about 70%) are committed by someone the victim knows--often a husband or boyfriend. Last year in America nearly 4,000,000 women were physically abused in this way. Domestic crime against adults accounts for nearly 15 percent of total crime costs--$67 billion per year--according to a 1996 study by the National Institute of Justice. A National Crime Survey has shown that almost half (48%) of all incidents of domestic violence against women go unreported.

In Santa Clara County, 18 people were killed during 2000 by their spouses, ex-spouses or lovers. Local law enforcement received nearly 10,000 domestic violence calls, with actual incidents estimated to be even higher.

What Has ANR Done?

Three Santa Clara County youth and a 4-H leader, members of the 4-H Youth Development Program, became interested in the issue of domestic violence in the summer of 2002 when they attended the statewide citizenship conference 4-H California Focus in Sacramento. These youth partnered with Assembly member Rebecca Cohn and several non-profit organizations in the county (such as Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence) to orchestrate a Domestic Violence assembly at Westmont High School, Campbell, in March 2003. The next assembly will be conducted in Lynbrook High School, in San Jose.

Rebecca Cohn's office worked closely with the 4-H members to develop informational flyers and a professional brochure written by teens for teens. One of the 4-H youths works at Cohn's office focusing on domestic violence.

The Payoff

4-H youth raise teenagers' awareness of domestic violence

More than 1,000 youth participated in the Domestic Violence assembly at Westmont High. The event was broadcast in local TV news stations. The success of that event, along with the experience of partnering with youth, motivated Assembly member Cohn and community partners to implement this assembly at all high schools in Santa Clara County.

Clientele Testimonial

Assembly member Cohn: "Domestic violence crosses all age, sex and ethnic boundaries. Educating our youth to recognize domestic violence is another step towards breaking the cycle of violence. I'm grateful the University's 4-H program is raising awareness of teens and educating them about unhealthy behavior and the resources available to domestic violence victims."


Supporting Unit: Santa Clara County

Fe Moncloa, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, UCCE, 700 Empey Way, San Jose, CA 95128
(408)299-2630 fxmoncloa@ucdavis.edu