GLENDALE — A series of events aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault against women have been planned in the coming weeks as city officials report an increase in domestic violence.
In the first two months of this year, the number of domestic violence incidents jumped to 59, up from 49 for the same period last year, according to the Glendale Police Department.
“If it was just one more than the last year, it’s just one too many,” Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
While domestic violence incidents increased, the number of rapes dropped from four to three.
Domestic violence is often attributed to job-related stress and financial and relationship issues, Lorenz said.
Responding to violent incidents cause the most injuries or death to officers, Lorenz said.
In a recent incident, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Steven Jenkins was shot twice April 3, when 53-year-old Sergio Salazar barricaded himself in his Sylmar home after allegedly attacking his wife.
Salazar died and Jenkins sustained serious injuries.
Police work with several women’s organizations, including the city’s Commission on the Status of Women and YWCA of Glendale, to curb domestic violence and sexual assaults.
The commission is hosting a series of events during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness month to raise public awareness.
One of two scheduled self-defense classes was held April 7 at the Glendale Police Department, Christine Baboomian, a city administrative associate, told the commission.
The second class is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the Student Services Building at Glendale Community College.
“You just never know when you might need them, but they can be invaluable and can save a life,” said the commission’s chairwoman, Paula Devine.
The commission has encouraged residents and businesses to participate in National Denim Day on April 27, an annual rape education and prevention campaign aimed at eradicating myths about sexual assault.
“The issue of sexual assault on women and men is a global issue with such high local impacts,” said Erin Mascho, representative of the Los Angeles-based organization Peace Over Violence. “It impacts the economy. It impacts our families. It impacts every facet of our community.”
The annual Take Back the Night Rally and Clothesline Project will be from 6 to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Glendale Police Department.
During the rally, participants will march against sexual and domestic violence from police headquarters to the YWCA on Lexington Drive.