During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, advocates urge victims to speak out
Speaker 1: (00:00)
I search was planned once again, over the weekend for my Emil yet day, even after the arrest last week, her husband for murder volunteers have been conducting searches for the 39 year old mother of three. Since January, when she disappeared from her Chula Vista home, her husband, Larry is now in jail charged with her murder. He pleaded not guilty. Interest has been growing in the disappearance of mule Yeti over the past nine months. Now her fate and her husband's arrest is a national story, but it is unfortunately not a unique story for those working to prevent domestic violence. The American journal of emergency medicine reports a spike in intimate partner violence. Since the start of the pandemic. Johnny Mia is on a Sorento with Los [inaudible] resource group in San Diego. And on a welcome to the program.
Speaker 2: (00:52)
Thank you for having me worth
Speaker 1: (00:54)
The pandemic, lockdowns dangerous for those in abusive relationships.
Speaker 2: (00:59)
I think they just became more dangerous because now you're locked in doors with your abuser and you can't really go out. So it was just a very sad situation.
Speaker 1: (01:10)
What did your organization experience here in San Diego did calls for assistance increase.
Speaker 2: (01:16)
We get a lot of calls. We did our best to help them. It was difficult because we deal with a lot of legal issues. The first couple months we closed down our phones. We're always onto a woman could always call, but the most we could do is just give her tips on how to stay safe and what to do. Just encourage her to call the police if need be because just escaping was, it was a multifaceted problem, but no easy solution.
Speaker 1: (01:43)
Now, people who are the victims of domestic violence often keep it to themselves. It's a secret in the family. How do you help break that silence?
Speaker 2: (01:53)
It's just encouraging her to speak out, to say something, you know, you just, you just have to find the courage to say something the main way to break the silence is just speaking it out. And, and it's not always easy.
Speaker 1: (02:05)
It's one person better to tell than another. In other words, who should you talk to?
Speaker 2: (02:10)
It would have to be somebody that you trust, even if they can't provide a help, even if they can't really do anything, just somebody that you trust. It only gets worse when you don't say anything, but once you say something, then the door opens for help.
Speaker 1: (02:25)
What are the signs to look out for when you suspect that someone, you know, could be trapped in an abusive relationship?
Speaker 2: (02:31)
They're very isolated. That's one of the first things they get isolated. If they stop coming around, if this boyfriend or significant other is always attached Dr. Hip, they're just always there.
Speaker 1: (02:44)
And we've heard that leaving an abusive relationship, maybe the most dangerous time for a victim. What precautions can a person take?
Speaker 2: (02:52)
There's a set of plan because just leaving is dangerous. It's kind of like, okay, when you plan to go war, you could be plan who you're going to go. You know, who's your enemy. What are you going to do? What are you going to take? What are you going to leave behind? Just a lot of planning. I often tell women, look, if you're going to leave, make sure you got all your important documents that you're going to need. Get clothes for the kids. Get clothes for you. Take the suitcase over to her friend's house. So a family member, somebody, somebody that you trust have a place to go, where are you going? Make sure you got everything that you need. And then leave. Because if you just leave, then of course you're going to have to go back. But if you plan it and you plan, I'm going to go get a restraining order and you actually follow through you go get that restraining order. And you go someplace where you know, you're going to be safe. Then the chances of going back are slimmer. So it's just, it's a matter of planning. What do I need to take? Where am I going to go? You have to have a plan.
Speaker 1: (03:48)
This is domestic violence awareness month. Are there many resources for victims of domestic violence here in San Diego?
Speaker 2: (03:56)
Oh, there's lots of resources throughout San Diego county. There are shelters. There's you know the courthouse, you know, if you want to go get a restraining order shelters, there are a lot, but they're usually full. So it's hard to get into a shelter. But one of the things I always suggest to women is get a restraining order. You could get a kick out order. And a kick-out order is an order where the judge will sign a paper. The sheriffs will go out and I'll throw him out of the house so she can at least stay in the house or the apartment or wherever they're living. And she has about a month to decide, why do I want to do, do I want to stay? Do I want to leave? You know, do I want to go back, live with my, my, my parents? You know, do I want to find my own place? It gives her, it gives her time to decide what she wants to do before she goes back to court to request a permanent restraining order. Although,
Speaker 1: (04:52)
Well, you know, when cases of alleged domestic violence really hit the news, like the mule Yeti case or the case of Gavi potato, what is its effect on survivors? Like you, does it trigger bad memories?
Speaker 2: (05:06)
You know, it depends. It depends on the woman herself. If you're far removed, like I'm far removed. Now it's been over 30 years, but for women who are recent, you know, it, it does, it, it reminds you of what happened. But if you've gotten some therapy, if you've gotten some help, if you work through whatever the issue was, you know, it doesn't have to be a trigger, you know, as long as you've gotten help and you got some therapy and you realize that, you know what that was, that was then now, now I'm here. I'm safe. I'm good. Um, I made a good decision and I left and I, and I think it just, it depends on the woman. I it's, it's hard for me to get triggered now, super hard for me. It's more a sadness. It's more a sadness that when I hear things like that and I mean, cause there's nothing. There's nothing that that can be done. And I'm sure they go and they go find help. Sometimes they go find out some, sometimes they don't, but it just makes me sad is, is what comes up for me.
Speaker 1: (06:14)
What's the best advice that you give to women in these abusive relationships.
Speaker 2: (06:19)
So the best advice I can give her is you're not alone. You're not alone. There is help reach out for help. Call me if you need to call me and you know, I'll take you by the hand, I'll walk you through the legal system. I'll walk you through a restraining order. I'll talk to you. I'll listen to you because I've been there, done that. Read the book, bought the t-shirt. I get it. I understand. And it's not easy to leave it. It is just not easy, but it can be done. You can leave. I remember he's lying to you when he tells you that you need him, that you won't make it without him. That you're dumb. You're stupid. You're ugly. Who would watch you. They are just like, you are worth it. You are valuable and you deserve a better life. And that's what I would tell.
Speaker 1: (07:10)
I've been speaking with Ana Serrano with Los Vontez resource group in San Diego on a thank you so much.
Speaker 2: (07:17)
You're very, very welcome.
A search was planned once again over the weekend for Maya Millete, even after the arrest last week of her husband for murder.
Volunteers have been conducting searches for the 39-year old mother of three since January when she disappeared from her Chula Vista home.
The implications of domestic violence in the case of Maya Millete, underscore an alarming trend — spousal abuse has risen since the beginning of the pandemic.
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reports a spike in intimate partner violence that coincided with earlier lockdowns.
In observation of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, advocates are using the heightened recognition of the issue to highlight resources for victims.
Ana Serrano with Las Valientes resource group in San Diego spoke with Midday Edition on Monday about what victims of domestic abuse should do to seek help.
She cautioned that victims who wish to escape from an abusive relationship should confide their plans in a trusted friend or family member, make themselves aware of what immediate legal resources they have at their disposal, and ultimately sever all contact with their abuser.