Domestic Violence Billboard Referencing Mirkarimi Comment to Be Unveiled Today

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."

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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.