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Mayor Villaraigosa Shares Personal, Traumatic Stories Of Domestic Violence On ‘Journey Of Hope’ Bus

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The “Journey Of Hope” — a traveling national tour bus that will document stories of domestic violence — rolled into Los Angeles Thursday and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa not only welcomed the bus but also became the first Angeleno to share a personal story.

Following a news conference, the mayor boarded the bright purple tour bus parked just outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.

He talked openly about his memories of watching his father beat his mother.

“I remember vividly the terror, the trauma that you feel,” the mayor said, “the helplessness. It stays with you.”

Verizon sponsored the eight-city tour after one of their employees was killed by her husband after repeated domestic violence.

Police officials, advocates for an end to domestic violence and the mayor all joined, they said, to spread awareness. Villaraigosa said as many as one in four women has been a victim of domestic violence.

The mayor also added that the LAPD responds to about 20,000 domestic violence calls each year.

“There are far too many victims of domestic violence who believe that they have no other choice in life to submit to this terror, whether it’s psychological, or physical,” LAPD Deputy Chief of Detectives David Doan said.

Doan said his message for victims is simple: “You do not have to put up with this. There are people available.”

The tour is being timed to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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