SAN FRANCISCO (Bay City News) Domestic violence victim advocates in San Francisco will unveil a billboard in the city’s South of Market neighborhood this afternoon that they say is a reaction to a domestic violence case against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

La Casa de las Madres, which runs a San Francisco shelter for domestic violence victims, will unveil the billboard on Harrison Street between Ninth and 10th streets at 3 p.m. today.

The billboard will be up for two weeks. The group says it was inspired by a comment made by Mirkarimi, who is accused of grabbing and bruising the arm of his wife, Eliana Lopez, during a Dec. 31 argument.

The billboard will read, “Domestic Violence is NEVER a private matter. If you need help, call (877) 503-1850.”

The message is a reference to a statement Mirkarimi made the day of his swearing-in as sheriff on Jan. 8, when he called the case “a private matter, a family matter.”

Mirkarimi was arrested and charged five days later with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. The case is set to go to trial Feb. 24.

After raising $4,000 for the billboard, La Casa de las Madres is now trying to raise an additional $2,500 in the next two weeks to put up a second billboard with a similar message in Spanish.

As of today, the nonprofit had raised roughly half of that amount.

More information about the campaign can be found on the organization’s website.

Domestic Violence Billboard Referencing Mirkarimi Comment to Be Unveiled Today 16 February,2012KQED News Staff and Wires

  • Anonymous

    Although it’s best to keep an open mind about unresolved criminal charges, Ross Mirkarimi’s statement about the alleged incident being a “private matter” was self-incriminating.  That’s what a lot of people say after doing destructive things to their own families.

    It should surprise no one that this defensive remark is staying in people’s memories. 

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