SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco Domestic Violence Billboard, Inspired By Ross Mirkarimi, To Be Erected

02/10/2012 04:56 pm ET | Updated Feb 12, 2012

In response to San Francisco Sherrif Ross Mirkarimi's reaction to his recent domestic violence allegations, advocacy group La Casa de las Madres has raised funds to erect an anti-domestic violence billboard inspired by the sherrif.

The billboard will read "Domestic Violence is NEVER a private matter" -- a reference to Mirkarimi's remark that the alleged incident was a "private matter."

"Domestic violence is not a family or a private matter," wrote La Casa de las Madres on its website. "It is a crime, with extremely personal impacts that elicit complex responses."

The billboard will be erected on the intersection of Tenth and Harrison Streets, about six blocks from the courthouse in a high-traffic area, and should be up by next week. According to ABC, La Casa de las Madres raised $4,024 dollars from 95 donors. The group is now raising funds to erect a second billboard with the same message in Spanish.

Mirkarimi has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness from a December 31 incident, in which he allegedly bruised his wife's arm. His trial is slated to begin on February 24.

But La Casa de las Madres explained that the billboard was not in reaction to Mirkarimi's guilt or innocence, but rather in reaction to his comments about the incident.

"Regardless of guilt or innocence, the media spotlight on domestic violence creates an important teaching moment," wrote La Casa on its website. "This case is remarkable in that its alleged perpetrator is an elected official and one of San Francisco's top public safety officers. Otherwise, the details which have been reported are not remarkable. They echo the dynamics of power and control and the hallmarks of domestic violence we see here every day at La Casa de las Madres. [...] Together we can counteract the paucity of San Francisco public officials making a stand or taking action to correct the public perception that San Francisco has a cavalier attitude toward domestic violence."

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