SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Domestic violence victim advocates in San Francisco were expected to unveil a billboard in the city’s South of Market neighborhood Thursday afternoon that they said 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. Thursday.
The billboard will be up for two weeks. The group said 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, www.lacasa.org.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)