Local Authorities Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence


Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims (Fresno County)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a topic that both Clovis and Fresno are working to bring awareness to.

On October 26th, the Marjaree Mason Center teamed up with Clovis PD, Fresno PD, Fresno Sheriff and Fresno DA to speak on the severity of domestic violence across Fresno County. 

Recently local media, including the Clovis Roundup, reported on a murder suicide case that stemmed from domestic violence. Eleanor Richards, mother of the victim Ana Richards-Anderson, spoke about the incident that took the life of her daughter and left her grandson alone.

“So it took my grandson, eight and a half years old, to explain to me that his mom was gone,” Richards said. “He needed me to be his mom. That was one of the first questions he asked me. ‘Will you be my mom?’.”

Another incident was reported by Clovis PD after a SWAT callout just two nights ago. This case was in regards to a domestic disturbance call from the victim who was able to leave the home and call police from another location. After interviewing the victim, Clovis PD discovered the suspect was wanted for multiple domestic violence-related felonies.

After a follow up search yesterday afternoon, the suspect identified as Jake Chavarria was taken into custody. Chavarria was booked into Fresno County Jail for several felonies that include corporal injury to a spouse/cohabitant, false imprisonment, child endangerment, terrorist threats, assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping. 

With the rise in domestic violence cases in the city, Clovis Police Chief Curt Fleming asked that people report and assist when they suspect any cases of abuse.

“Each of us play a role where in our community we need to stand up when we see this occurring,” Fleming stated. “Help these victims get out of these dangerous relationships that they’re in.”

Statistics released by the Marjaree Mason Center show that Fresno County was the highest in the state of California in 2020 to receive calls to law enforcement for domestic violence cases per 1,000 people. Fresno County was at a staggering seven and a half calls on average while the next closest, San Diego County, was at 5.36 calls on average. Last year there were five domestic violence homicides and incident deaths while 2021 has already surpassed that with eight total cases. 

Domestic violence isn’t only singled out as physical abuse. This can also vary to emotional, verbal and mental abuse. These acts happen to one out of every four American families, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and can go unreported. This type of violence targets every ethnic group, gender, and culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor. 

If you or someone you know may be suffering from domestic violence or if you witness an act of domestic violence, please call 911 immediately. You can also contact the Marjaree Mason Center for additional support. You can contact them via their 24/7 hotline at 559-233-HELP and email them at crt@mmcenter.org. You can also visit their website at mmcenter.org for more information about their services.