Redwood City – The County of San Mateo has formed a Domestic Violence Task Force following the homicides of five women this year at the hands of abusers, Supervisor Noelia Corzo announced today.
The task force brings together County officials, survivors and advocates, and representatives from law enforcement, public health, education, the judiciary and others with an urgent mission: save lives by identifying gaps in services and strengthening response and support systems.
Apart from the tragic mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, all five homicides this year in San Mateo County have been the result of domestic violence, according to law enforcement officials. The names of those killed are:
- Grace Marie Kelly, 49, Daly City
- Yesenia Lopez Hernandez, 41, Redwood City
- Claribel Estrella, 41, San Mateo
- Maria Romero-Molina, 30, South San Francisco
- Frances Lucero, 27, Daly City
“These victims deserved safety. Their children deserve their mothers and freedom from violence. Intimate partner violence is a crisis that demands our experts come together, identify the gaps, and take action now. We have the resources to prevent domestic violence and save lives,” Corzo said.
The idea for a targeted task force arose during a Monday, Sept. 18 special meeting of the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council. The task force, consisting of a subgroup of Domestic Violence Council members, will report back with an action plan to the council and the larger community.
“These tragedies call for the community’s urgent attention, and we are heartened by the swift response of local representatives and organizations,” said Lynn Schuette of Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse, or CORA, San Mateo County’s only agency solely dedicated to helping those affected by intimate partner abuse.
The newly formed task force is made up of nine council members from the Domestic Violence Council:
- Noelia Corzo, County supervisor
- Mike Callagy, County chief executive officer
- Christina Corpus, Sheriff
- Elisa Kuhl, victim services director, District Attorney’s Office
- Karen Ferguson, executive director, CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse)
- San Mateo Superior Court
- Bay Area Legal Aid
- San Mateo Medical Center
- San Mateo County Board of Education
Domestic violence impacts an estimated 10,000 people in San Mateo County each year, according to the Domestic Violence Council.
Learning about residents’ experiences with domestic violence can help inform strategies to address intimate partner abuse. The public is invited to share their stories during public comment at the next Domestic Violence Council meeting, on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.
Participation is available in person and virtually. Information will be available when the agenda is posted at www.smcgov.org/dvc/2023-domestic-violence-council-meetings.
If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence in San Mateo County — which can take many forms, including coercive control, stalking, and verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse — contact CORA’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-300-1080 or find help at corasupport.org.
Office of Supervisor Noelia Corzo