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The Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), housed within the Department of Public Health, works to strengthen coordination, capacity and partnerships to address the root causes of violence, and to advance policies and practices that are grounded in race equity, to prevent all forms of violence and to promote healing across all communities in Los Angeles County. OVP monitors the trends and circumstances of violent deaths affecting Los Angeles County to inform decision makers and program planners about ways to prevent and intervene on violence in the community, at home and in the workplace.
Increasing Access to Gun Violence Restraining Orders
A motion approved August 8 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors calls on the Office of Violence Prevention, housed in the Department of Public Health, to lead an initial campaign that is culturally and linguistically relevant to increase public awareness of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). The authors of the motion, Board Chair Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda Solis, discussed its significance at a press conference hours before the Supervisors voted in favor of the motion, which also directed OVP to collect and publicly share data on GVROs and to coordinate with law enforcement and community- based organizations on training. They were joined at the podium by Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Acting Captain Robert Peacock; and Mia Livas Porter with Moms Demand Action. Mia Livas Porter spoke movingly about how GVROs have the potential to prevent tragedies. Thirty years ago, her brother used a gun to take his own life.
Approved by the California Legislature in 2016, GVROs allow the courts to temporarily remove guns and ammunition from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others anywhere between 21 days and 5 years. The subject of the order is also not permitted to purchase guns or ammunition during the designated time.
While GVROs are seen as an effective tool to reduce gun violence, they have been woefully underused in LA County. In the period from 2016 to 2022, only 266 GVROs were issued, and 95% of those were requested by law enforcement, even though family members, co-workers, friends, and a person in a dating relationship are eligible to seek a GVRO.
“We have a public health crisis facing us that demands a comprehensive public health solution,” said Dr. Ferrer. “GVROs and other legal protection orders are based on the idea that each of us can contribute to building a more peaceful society. Today’s motion asks that we do more to make sure the option of filing a GVRO is available and utilized.”
Along with these organizations, the Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention is committed to reducing gun violence deaths, life altering injuries and their social-emotional impacts. In April 2023, OVP released a 40-point Gun Violence Prevention Platform, which was developed in partnership with mental health professionals, emergency room physicians, faith based and community-based leaders, educators, survivors, and public health practitioners. The Platform lifts four priorities: Social Connections and Healing, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, Legislation, and School Safety and Services, to reduce gun violence across all communities. The Platform provides community organizations, local governments, faith-based groups, parent associations, business leaders and others with a blueprint to build safer communities.
We invite you to join with us to end gun violence, here are a few simple ways:
Learn the Facts. Share the Facts. There are many individuals and groups who make claims to justify the proliferation of guns in our society (400 million guns and counting). There are also many myths surrounding guns and gun violence. We must vigorously counter these views with strong data, solid information, and personal stories.
Contact your member of Congress and United States Senators and urge them to support and advocate for bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and act in favor of universal background checks and gun safe storage.
Learn more about Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) and other legal tools to remove firearms from people intent on harming themselves and/or others.
Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about safe gun storage, including the use of trigger locks and locked cabinets. There is no more important protection against the tragic, horrifying gun accidents that kill hundreds of teenagers and children each year.
Write a letter to the editor or post to social media. By simply sharing messages, you can affect change.
Get Involved! The only way we will truly be able to eliminate gun violence is if we all work together collectively and collaboratively to ensure that violence is no longer the norm, no matter our individual areas of focus, perspectives and/or biases. Working together to prevent violence and promote healing has tremendous value and benefit for all of us. Everyone has a part and role to play. If you would like more information about how you can get involved, or would like to join our mailing list, please contact us.
Public Release of OVP’s Gun Violence Prevention Platform
On Friday, April 7th, the Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention, housed in the Department of Public Health, publicly released the County’s 40-point Gun Violence Prevention Platform. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, made the announcement at a press conference in front of the County Hall of Administration. “Without sustained, meaningful action on gun violence we are all but conceding the future, and we are noting that it will be no better than our grim present – perhaps worse,” she said.
The Gun Violence Prevention Platform, developed in June 2022 by a Task Force consisting of mental health and health care professionals, public health practitioners, and community partners, identified four priority action areas as critical first steps in making Los Angeles County safe and secure for all: Legislation, Social Connections and Healing, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and School Safety and Services.
Dr. Ferrer was joined at the podium by David Guizar of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, Kevin Orange, Trauma Prevention Initiative Community Intervention Worker; and Dr. Susan Stone, Senior Medical Director with L.A. Care Health Plan. Both Guizar and Orange lost brothers to gun violence. They spoke movingly about the necessity of providing critical services and coming together as a community in support of peace, security, and healing.
Dr. Stone stated that physicians are became increasingly engaged in the effort to reduce gun violence, including asking patients if they have a gun in the house. “Gun violence is our lane.”
“The Gun Violence Prevention Platform represents one of the most extensive, multi-faceted plans ever put forth by the County to address gun violence,” noted Dr. Ferrer. “It rejects the idea – all too common – that we have no choice but to resign ourselves to this insidious threat to daily life and wellbeing.”
The Task Force is expected to release a progress report around the four priorities this summer. If you would like to get involved, please contact us at 626-293-2610 or email@example.com.
Youth Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Los Angeles County
The Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention has released a new report, “Youth Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Los Angeles County,” which highlights suicide and suicide attempt data among Los Angeles County youth ages 10-24 between 2016 and 2020. The report includes general demographics, methods most frequently used, and suicide trends during the five-year period. The report also briefly overviews reported suicides and attempts during 2020, with the acknowledgment that there is still much more to understand about this unprecedented time. The report concludes with links to prevention resources that reduce stigma and normalize mental health as an integral component of health and wellbeing.
OVP supports the County’s LA vs. Hate Initiative led by the Human Relations Commission in collaboration with community partners.
LA vs Hate is a community-centered creative campaign to encourage and support all residents of Los Angeles County to unite against, report, and resist hate.
If you are the victim, or witness of, a hate incident or hate crime you can report the incident/crime with 211 LA. Your report is confidential and 211 is not affiliated with law enforcement.
The OVP Strategic Plan is a live document and we welcome your ongoing feedback, specifically as it pertains to our priorities, goals, objectives and strategies. Please provide your input by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email Andrea Welsing, OVP Director, directly at email@example.com. We hope you will provide your thoughts, comments and recommendations for the Strategic Plan and that you will continue to be part of our violence prevention and healing efforts as we work together to advance strategies to prevent violence and promote healing.
DPH Director's Message on Racism
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer,
acknowledges that addressing law enforcement violence and racism are core to public health.
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.