Domestic violence kills three women a day in America, and it keeps the phones ringing in Mono and Inyo County, as well.
According to Wild Iris Women’s services, the agency fielded hundreds of calls for domestic violence this past year, an incomplete number given that some incidents do not get reported, or reported to the agency.
“This is at epidemic levels,” said Susi Baines, the agency’s director.
Some incidents resulted in serious injuries, including hospitalization. Many involved Mono County’s children, who were either watching while the violence occurred, or were directly involved.
So on Tuesday, when the Mono County Board of Supervisors gathered to honor some of the region’s most tireless advocates against domestic violence, it was a bittersweet thing, recognizing both success—and how far there still is to go.
According to Baines, two men, Mono County Deputy District Attorney Todd Graham and Mono County Sheriff Deputy Marty Thompson, stand out as particularly powerful advocates for victims of domestic violence.
“District Attorney Todd Graham has been instrumental in diligently prosecuting domestic violence cases, even with reluctant victims or victims that do not want to participate,” she said.
Graham said his office has focused on a “zero tolerance” policy for domestic violence, in the hopes that addressing the first incident will prevent the violence from spiraling out of control. Deputy Marty Thompson has been with the Mono County Sheriff’s Department since last year, when he left the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. He is also the head football coach for the Mammoth High School football team. According to Baines, Thompson is another Mono County resident who has gone above and beyond the ordinary when to comes to helping victims of domestic violence and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Both Thompson and Graham were presented with “Exemplary Service” awards by the Mono County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.