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,

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Clarence R. Fischer says:

    Since this is more in line with a “Public Service Announcement” message, I am saddened that the owner(s) of the billboard do not allow such a message to be posted for free (gratis), and write it off as “goodwill” on their taxes. Gone are the days when such things exist??? I hope that whom ever owns the billboards (both the current one where the message is in English, as well as another one where the group had hoped to put the same message up in Spanish), will have a change of heart ….. and allow such a message to be posted on at least a dozen billboards. I speak from history, when my mother and I were abused from a “life form” who claimed to be a father and a husband.


    “It would be a high honor to follow the footsteps of Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who is arguably one of the most successful sheriffs in recent history, not just in San Francisco but nationally,” Mirkarimi said when he filed his declaration of intent to run with the elections department on February 22, 2011.

    High honor, is all is needed, to fill these big shoes and “follow the footsteps”. Another hollow speech won’t cut it.

    You disgraced yourself and the position, form hero to zero in less than a year.


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