Serious Domestic Violence Incident at POV
Update: On August 28, we officially launched the POV Security & Safety First Fund to restore a sense of safety for the staff and for our clients and their families. Support the fund now.
A special Message from POV Executive Director/CEO:
There was a serious domestic violence incident at our Pasadena site last week. A man stalking his wife re-entered the office - after earlier having been asked to leave - and threatened the safety and security of our staff. The office went on lockdown as events unfolded. He proceeded to harm himself with a knife. The Pasadena Police were able to subdue him using a taser, transport him to the hospital, and place him under arrest.
Unfortunately, our beloved Peace Over Violence WSGV Center became a crime scene and our beloved Peace Over Violence staff became witnesses to this extremely scary and traumatizing situation. Thank you to our incredible staff, who helped to handle this alarming incident with their crisis intervention skills and de-escalation tactics. Indeed, POV has its own first responders and we are so grateful for that. And thank you to the Pasadena Police, who used restraint to disarm and arrest this person.
The wellbeing of our staff is our highest priority, and we have taken immediate steps–including increasing our security–to address the situation, restore a sense of safety, and provide support to allow our staff and workplace to re-stabilize. We understand how upsetting this experience is, especially for those who were present throughout the ordeal. We will gather as a community to breathe together, ground together, and resource with each other as we continue to support one another.
We are living in very trying and unsettling times right now, with targeted oppression coming from our current administration, the escalation of mass shootings, out-of-control gun violence, white supremacy on the rise, children being separated from their parents…along with the everyday incidents of interpersonal violence… so we are living in a state of unease. And now, violence has hit close to home, violating our work-home here at POV. On the outside wall of our Metro headquarters building, we have the words “IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE” boldly written. This aspirational statement is on our walls and in our hearts, and now this violence has occurred inside our buildings.
Few are immune to the impact of domestic violence, and we know this impact runs deep. It is a root cause of so many social harms, such as gang violence, gun violence, suicide, homelessness, etc. Like an octopus, its tentacles are many and far reaching.
For decades, we have handled tense situations carefully, mindfully and safely, but this is the first time we have experienced an event of such a violent nature on our home turf. This is the reality of the work that we do. We face the seriousness of these issues every day, and the threat of violence is often present. This is the very reason why we are here, doing this work, and we have many years of experience and preparation. But still, an incident like this shatters our sense of safety.
The work of social service, social change, and social justice is necessary and urgent and needed more than ever. We will continue to do this work together. We must not lose faith or our commitment to our mission and vision.
As I write this, I am wearing my Los Angeles Over Violence t-shirt in honor of all of you who do anti-violence work every day, and those of you who support this work, with the goal of making our families and communities healthier and safer. Through all of this, I remain steadfast in my belief that the antidote to violence is love, connection, and community.
Building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence.