(left to right) Lupe Oropeza, Supervisor Warren Slocum (me), and Monica Castillon

The annual award, inspired by the legacy of the late San Mateo Police Lt. Barbara Hammerman, was established in 2005 by the Domestic Violence Council of San Mateo County to recognize the work of an exceptional law enforcement officer in San Mateo County who excels in service to domestic violence survivors and their children. The award now also recognizes other non-sworn members of criminal justice and victim advocacy community who serve domestic violence clients.

As the Chairman of the Domestic Violence Council, it is especially important to me that we honor and thank those who are serving people who have been beaten back by life - literally and figuratively. Monica Castillo and Lupe Oropeza, Domestic Violence Advocates share the prestigious Barbara Hammerman Award having demonstrated their ability to serve those that need help the most.

Monica Castillo, who has 15 years of experiences, and Lupe Oropeza, who has 17 years of experience, both work in the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, are longstanding colleagues, and share some incredible qualities--they are both–hardworking Domestic Violence Advocates that provide victims, attorneys, and partner agencies with the highest-quality work and care. Their efforts consistently build the strong foundation needed to bring victims to safety,, to navigate the court process, and to reclaim their lives. They have earned the respect of their victims, peers, as well as our judges, and partner agencies.

o  Monica distinguishes herself with her ability to “tell it like it is” (or speak the sweet-truth as I like to say) in a way that victims feel heard and understand that they are supported.

o  Lupe has a unique ability to listen deeply across cultural barriers and ensure that victims feel protected by the criminal justice system.

My colleagues on the Board of Supervisors and I had the privilege and the honor of awarding these two incredible advocates with the highest recognition paid to these honorees who are so deserving. Warmest congratulations and thanks to you both!