SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ebony Douglas is holding on to the memories of her daughter, 19-year-old Dajha Richards, who was killed to months ago in south Sacramento. Richards' boyfriend and father of her child, was charged in the murder.

After losing her daughter, Douglas is encouraging people to speak out about domestic violence, especially in areas where it seems to be rarely encouraged.

"I feel like Dajha wanted to reach out to people but she always felt judgmental," said Ebony Douglas, her mother. 

Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE), the primary provider for helping domestic violence survivors in Sacramento County, is shifting some of its focus on helping the South Sacramento area.

Deana Omijie, with She Could Be My Daughter, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence and other issues within the black community, said there's a stigma in that discourages people from speaking out.

"In the black community, when victims speak up, sometimes they're afraid they're gonna be looked at," Omijie said. "They don't want to be responsible for putting another black person in jail, or they don't want to be stigmatized as a snitch."

WEAVE recently received a $400,000 grant for the next two years through the Blue Shield Foundation and are focused on helping the South Sacramento area. 

Through the grant, WEAVE is working with other organizations to identify what services people are in need of and how to further help. Most of the money will go to pay stipends for participating organizations and help engage community members.

WEAVE CEO Beth Hassett said they have been concerned about not being able to reach out to the black community effectively, even though advocates are embedded in the South Sacramento area. WEAVE is the primary provider for helping domestic violence survivors in Sacramento County.

The two target neighborhoods of focus within South Sacramento for the grant are Valley Hi and Meadowview.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Ananda Rochita.

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