CalVCP Executive Officer Speaks Up About Domestic Violence
Sacramento, CA — Statement from Julie Nauman, Executive Officer of the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP).
“By now we have all heard the disturbing account and watched the terrifying video of Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice, who violently punched his then-fiancée in the face and dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator. Despite being convicted of aggravated assault, Rice received a mere two-game suspension earlier in the year. It wasn’t until video of the act surfaced 7 months later that the Ravens terminated his contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely, thanks in part to a massive public outcry. Is this the message that we want to send to domestic violence victims? That if the violence happened behind closed doors, it’s like it never happened at all? Or that unless a victim has video proof, the aggressor can get away with no more than a slap on the wrist?
“Domestic violence (DV) is never okay. It’s not a personal problem, and it’s not just a family issue. DV is an alarming and pervasive problem that affects 33 million U.S. adults each year, at a cost of over $5.8 billion. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are affected by DV. This is not a matter better left to be dealt with at home. It is a community issue and one that we must address now.
“In my role as the Executive Officer of the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP), I’m no stranger to the tragedy of domestic violence. Over one-fourth of the requests for assistance that come to CalVCP are related to domestic violence. Every day, I see first-hand the heartbreaking stories of women and men who feel trapped and unable to break away from the life they have come to know. They fear their own safety and for that of their children. They lack the resources to remove themselves from dangerous situations, or worse, are manipulated into staying.
“Taking the steps to leave a violent relationship is not an overnight process. I encourage anyone faced with a violent home life to seek help. Talk with someone that can help begin that process to move away from a threatening situation. There are a number of organizations throughout California that are willing and able to provide women and men with the information and resources they need to take those steps toward a safer environment.
“DV impacts victims, family members, friends and entire communities. Sadly, we know DV can happen to anyone, anywhere regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.“The Ray Rice saga is a case concerning not only victims’ rights, but a glimpse into the harsh reality of society’s tolerance of domestic violence. As California’s leading victims’ advocate, CalVCP stands ready to assist and help domestic violence victims regain their dignity and rights to safety. Call CalVCP at 1-800-777-9229 or visit the CalVCP Website to find resources that will help.”
The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP), a division of the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB), provides compensation for victims of violent crime who are injured or threatened with injury. Among the crimes covered are domestic violence, child abuse, sexual and physical assault, homicide, robbery, and vehicular manslaughter.
If a person meets eligibility criteria, CalVCP will compensate many types of services when the costs are not covered by other sources. Eligible services include medical and dental care, mental health services, income loss, funeral expenses, rehabilitation and relocation. Funding for CalVCP comes from restitution fines and orders, penalty assessments levied on persons convicted of crimes and traffic offenses, and matching federal funds. The program is not taxpayer funded.