Statement from Next Door Solutions regarding the tragic murder-suicide of five individuals in San Jose

In light of the tragic incident of what is believed to be familial violence that took place in San Jose, CA on the evening of June 23rd in which 5 people were killed in a murder-suicide, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those lost in this tragedy. We stand with all survivors of all forms of violence, including domestic, familial and gender-based violence.

San Jose Police continue to investigate this incident that has reverberated across Silicon Valley, especially because of the recent death of a police officer who was helping a victim of domestic violence. We as a community struggle to understand how this could have happened. Were there warning signs? Did anyone know anything that could have prevented this horrific incident? What can we, as a community, do to prevent senseless acts of violence and educate ourselves about how to prevent it and where to go for help?

“Many times, victims are isolated and their abuse and violence are hidden even from those who are closest to them. They are reluctant to report and often find that when they do speak up, they aren’t listened to and worse, they are not believed.  We need to ensure that we support survivors of all forms of violence and that we have sufficient resources to respond when abuse and violence are happening, whether the abuse is happening in families or in relationships. Doing so is often a matter of life and death and can prevent further incidents of violence.” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Executive Director of Next Door Solutions.

Family violence is distinct from domestic violence (which is abuse between intimate partners) and is violence that happens specifically between family members. Like intimate partner violence, it can be destructive and life-threatening, with short and long term devastating effects. Recognizing the distinction between these two but acknowledging the intersectionality of these forms of violence, Next Door Solutions offers support and services to both survivors of domestic violence and survivors of family violence.

In Santa Clara County, over 20,000 phone calls are received by local domestic violence shelter hotlines with Next Door Solutions answering 14,609 of these calls. Last year, Next Door Solutions served over 2,900 unduplicated clients, including over 1,500 clients through our Walk In-Crisis program which operates from 9 am – 7:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am to 5 pm on Friday.

Next Door Solutions urges local and state leaders to balance the current trends toward much-needed prevention efforts with the urgent need for funding and support for vital crisis intervention services offered by local domestic violence agencies and funding for community education and awareness both to intervene and prevent domestic violence.  We believe in the moment of crisis, people should have access to services to move from crisis and violence, into safety, stability, and self-sufficiency.

“In order to interrupt and prevent violence, we have to look at community-wide prevention and engage diverse communities so that we create buy-in and ownership of this issue in neighborhoods and cities.  If local leaders from under-served communities, including survivors of domestic violence, are in a position to help with education and awareness both at the moment when violence has happened and to prevent more violence, that is a huge step forward. Everyone, regardless of differences, deserves to be healthy and safe in their relationships, in their families, and in their community.” said Peralez-Dieckmann.  Next Door Solutions currently has embarked on community training and leadership development in the areas of domestic violence, particularly with health care providers, churches and faith leaders, and civic groups that serve diverse populations.

For more information and to get help for domestic or familial violence, contact Next Door Solutions at (408) 501-7550. For a life-threatening situation call 911. For crisis support and response 24 hours a day, call (408) 279-2962. For more on the events leading to this post please click here.