Inyo and Mono Counties hit hard by domestic violence
Domestic violence is not something most people like to talk about at the dinner table, or read about in the newspaper, but Susi Bains of Wild Iris says its vital they do.
Last week, Wild Iris finished compiling data for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, which ended on June 31. The information gathered reflects the number of crisis calls, counseling sessions, emergency shelter recipients, sexual assaults, and restraining orders filed through the crisis counseling organization.
From June 2015 to July 2016, Wild Iris served 341 victims of domestic violence in Inyo and Mono Counties— about a call a day. “I’m sure the DA’s offices’ records are lower,” said Susi Bains, Mammoth Lakes Program Director for Wild Iris. “The vast majority will not report to law enforcement.” Wild Iris saw 330 individuals for crisis counseling, housed 20 victims and their children in transitional housing, and prepared 27 domestic violence restraining orders. The total population of Inyo and Mono counties is roughly 32,000.
The California Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General reported 286 domestic violence-related calls to law enforcement in 2014 in Mono and Inyo counties. According to Bains, most local victims of domestic violence don’t want to see their abusers incarcerated; they want the violence to stop. In many cases, abusers are the primary breadwinners in families with children, and an arrest would eliminate day-to-day resources such as rent money, groceries, money for medications, or health insurance.