The seventh nominee for the 2017 Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize is Sabrina Ross, the Lompoc Police Department’s victims’ advocate, a position Ross has held for five years in connection with her job at the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center.
On Oct. 5, Ross chaired the 30th annual Candlelight Vigil at Centennial Park, an event held in support of victims of domestic violence and their families and in memories of lives lost.
During the preceding months she led a coalition of groups — including the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in Lompoc, Domestic Violence Solutions, the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, and members of the Lompoc community — that participated in the vigil. In remembrance of victims, members and friends of Lompoc Rocks, the local chapter of National Friendship Rocks, donated small rocks painted with messages of hope and encouragement, which were presented to victims at the vigil.
Ross has a long history of community service, including service as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a volunteer position to represent abused and neglected children in court; a Red Cross volunteer; and an Americorps Literary Tutor.
According to Ross, dealing with domestic violence has taken on increasing urgency in the last few years, seen in the connection of recent mass shootings with perpetrators of domestic violence. One of the hoped-for outcomes of the annual Candlelight Vigil is that people will be encouraged to report potential and actual domestic abuse.
The recognition ceremony for the Peace Prize nominees will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, 3346 Constellation Road.