(Victor Valley)– – At a press conference today held in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and 17-year-old murder victims Tania Villalobos and Willie Wiltz, District Attorney Michael Ramos and San Bernardino Police Chief Robert Handy reaffirmed their commitment to fight domestic violence.
Ramos and Handy stood at the gravesite of Tania Villalobos, who was murdered by her husband, Alejandro Hernandez Villalobos, in 2010, as the result of a domestic violence dispute in the City of San Bernardino. In July 2011, Alejandro Villalobos was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 50 years in state prison.
“Sadly, we see far too many cases in our county related to domestic violence, but this is just as much a national problem that affects all races and religions and crosses all socioeconomic lines,” said District Attorney Michael Ramos. “Domestic violence knows no boundaries, so hopefully, by having a month dedicated to raising awareness, we can do just that—raise awareness and empower those affected by domestic violence with resources and information.”
In 2011, the District Attorney’s Office filed 3,062 misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases in San Bernardino County. Nine of those cases involved murder.
“The police cannot stress enough the need for people to come forward and report domestic violence,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Robert Handy. “So often we see a continued progression of violence where the abuse starts out being tolerable but ultimately ends in tragedy. We need victims, family members, friends, and neighbors to stand united and report domestic violence. All of us must stand united to end the cycle of domestic violence before the next tragedy.”
In order to further educate the public about domestic violence, the District Attorney’s Office and the San Bernardino Police Department have also partnered with the Mexican Consulate of San Bernardino to produce a 15-minute educational video focusing on myths in the Hispanic community regarding domestic violence.
“Unfortunately domestic violence is still a common issue within our community,” said Carolina Zaragoza Flores, Consul of Mexico. “As a government of Mexico’s office abroad, we believe that education is the most effective strategy to avoid this kind of violence. We firmly endorse the content of this video, as a part of a major plan to control this social problem.”
The video can be viewed at the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/sbcountyda or the San Bernardino Police Department Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/SanBernardinoPD. You may also contact the San Bernardino Police Department Community Affairs Unit at (909) 388-4931.
If you were unable to attend today’s press conference and would like to conduct follow-up interviews with Victim Advocates from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Victim Services, or former victims of domestic violence who are willing to share their stories, please contact Chris Lee at (909) 382-3665.