SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Later this week, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will go on trial as he faces domestic violence charges following an argument with his wife on New Year’s Eve.

The case has put the spotlight on domestic violence and a group that specifically tries to help with the after-effects for victims.

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San Francisco police said they receive calls or referrals about domestic violence roughly 7,000 times a year, which comes to about one an hour every day of the year.

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

“If it’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you call here and you need shelter, a live, trained counselor is answering the phone and they’re going to help that victim,” said Kathy Black, who runs the crisis center at La Casa de las Madres, the largest shelter and service group for battered women in the city.

La Casa de las Madres is the group that put up a billboard near the San Francisco Hall of Justice highlighting what Sheriff Mirkarimi said about his domestic violence case. “We’re very excited to stand in front of our new billboard that says, domestic violence is never a private matter,” said Black.

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They are hoping the billboard and the general publicity from the case will lead to more people thinking about their relationship.

“I wouldn’t want my son to grow up being a batterer because of everything he’s seen. He still has that in him. He has a lot of anger in him,” said “Sarah,” who wished to remain anonymous.

She went through both mental and verbal abuse 10 years ago, left her partner but even today, has trouble talking about it. But now, she works as a counselor at a Bay Area shelter and said she is ready for more calls if they come in.

You can hear Mike Sugerman’s About the Bay reports on Mondays at 6:40am, 7:40am and 8:40am on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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