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San Diego Nonprofit Helps Children Orphaned By Domestic Violence

October 25, 2017 1:16 p.m.

Program Aims To Help Children Affected By Domestic Violence

GUEST:

Ginny Scharbarth, co-founder, Kathy's Legacy Foundation

Related Story: San Diego Nonprofit Helps Children Orphaned By Domestic Violence

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

According to the San Diego county District Attorney's Office there are about 17,000 domestic violence incidences reported every year. It is a shocking statistic. This year the focus of a local foundation is to provide support for the youngest and sometimes the forgotten victims of domestic violence the children. Joining me is Jimmy. Welcome to the program.Thank you.You have a personal and tragic connection with domestic violence. Your daughter Kathy was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2011. How did you find the strength to establish a foundation in her name?I really have always felt that Kathy was the power behind it. I did not wanted to be remembered by the Carlsbad mother that was murdered but that she inspired everybody and I found the strength to help other families.Did you or Kathy believe that the stocking and threats that she endured could lead to her death?Never. She was being stalked and so she took up the restraining order on November 17 2011. That was the first sign that there was cash it would escalated to the point of her being a varied -- afraid. If we had thought that she could of been murdered I would've had her under lock and key. We got the restraining order and we thought life is good and should be okay. Seven days later she was murdered.Can you share with us a process that you went through from that awful moment to the idea of establishing a foundation to help other victims of domestic violence.Our granddaughter Madison was 13 at the time. So we took her and we waste or ever sense and it just became clear in wondering where are all these children? Madison is not alone. So it kind of came to be that we would start Kathy's legacy foundation for victims of domestic violence.You teamed up with the District Attorney's Office to set up the Silverlining program. How does that help kids affected by domestic violence question markAfter adjudication of the case. The children are limited as to what the District Attorney provides because there's a victims advocate program but once it is adjudicated it diminishes and what they can do. They do provide the therapy to a point but after that what about all the concerns -- there's dental issues braces and sports activities and they need computers for school and it goes on and on. Legal issues as partners -- as far as guardianship. It's afterwards when the children want to change her name that has to be a core issue where you need attorneys help. That is not paid for by the county. That is something that has to come out of their pockets and it's very expensive. We do have an attorney that helped us change the names for recent three little girls. So it's really the funding of it. It's expensive to go to court and often times they can't do it. We went to court to get guardianship of Madison. You have to do that. These are children who have been orphaned.Do you think that people would be surprised at the number of children who are in that situation that are really sometimes the forgotten victims of domestic violence?I think so they are when I first came up with this thought and went to the District Attorney's Office and basically said where are the children? Where are these kids? Are they being tracked how they're doing? I knew no one had checked up on Madison.They all thought -- in thinking about it, no. The assumption would be that social services would be doing that, but it wasn't be done so became something like let's do this. So going back they have all the records and they help me with that. 3000 children a year in our country are orphaned by domestic violence. It will never go out of business. There's so many kids that need our help.Your bringing this message to the San Diego community letting them know that your foundation exists and letting him know that this problem exists and that they can help. I'm wondering what does aiding these children bring to you?On beyond joyful. It gives me hope and gave me purpose again and I stopped teaching. It was a calling that I felt I needed to do something for these children and the looks on their faces and appreciation of the families and one saying I don't have to worry so much anymore. These kids should not be worried. These children should have every opportunity to live their lives joyfully and to not consider themselves that this is not to find them. It is something that they have to live with. They are going to be the future and I want them to have that hope and support. We know Madison had that and we want the other children to have it as well.I've been speaking with Ginny Scharbarth, co-founder, Kathy's Legacy Foundation. Thank you so much.Thank you for having me.