Acting Against Domestic Violence

This is a public comment I made to the San Carlos City Council at their 9/12/2022 meeting.

Thank you Mayor McDowell and the rest of the Council for giving me this time to address you.

Last week San Carlos saw, in the most horrific fashion possible, just how poorly we deal with domestic violence. This is not, at all, a criticism of our emergency responders or the residents who stepped in as quickly as was humanly possible. In a free and open society, criminals will always have the advantage over the law abiding: they know what they are going to do, while the need to protect liberty keeps us from acting until they do.

I commend you for partnering with the Community Foundation to raise funds for those suddenly orphaned children. I am proud the City of Good Living is stepping up this way.

But there is more that can be done. And it can only be done by our elected leaders.

Temporary restraining orders are of little use by themselves. They are expensive to get, putting them out of reach of many victims. More importantly, they do not prevent further abuse. They work after the fact, enabling an arrest if the order is violated.

Preventing abuse requires the victims, and their families, move to places where their abuser cannot find them. Yet you know how serious our housing shortage is. Consider what it looks like to a young woman, struggling to take care of her children. Few have the means to find and pay for new housing.

There are organizations which try to address this, CORA, Communities Overcoming Relationship Abuse, being the prime example locally. But it is terribly, terribly, underfunded.

I ask you to consider two ideas. Years ago, San Carlos took the lead in the face of another ongoing societal problem by contributing $50,000 to gun buy back programs. This sparked other communities to also contribute. Please consider making at least the same size donation to CORA or a similar organization.

And please also lobby the County Board of Supervisors to purchase housing for organizations like CORA to offer to abuse victims, at reduced or no cost.

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