April 2014: 10 of 39 Inspirational Women being honored at Notes to Our Sons & Daughters – My Sister’s Voice

April 1st, 2014


Center for Community Solutions Introduces Arts & Culture Subjects of “My Sister’s Voice” Photographic Exhibition


CCS Reveals 10 of 39 Inspirational Women Photographed for June 6 Fundraising Reception


SAN DIEGO – March 13, 2014 – The Center for Community Solutions (CCS), a San Diego nonprofit that provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse, introduces 10 women featured in the international photographic exhibition, “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters: My Sister’s Voice,” which will debut with a June 6 evening reception at San Diego’s Broadway Pier and Pavilion. The first 10 of the 39 dynamic women have contributed to local and international arts and culture.



  • The photographic exhibition includes several women with ties to the film industry. Artist, teen activist and former homeless teen Inocente Izucar is the subject of the 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary short film “Inocente.” The 2013 internationally acclaimed film “Eden” is based on Chong Kim’s life as a sex slave before she founded the nonprofit Minorities and Survivors Improving Empowerment (MASIE). The 2010 documentary, “La Mama: An American Nun’s Life in a Mexican Prison” narrated by Susan Sarandon, is based on the late Mother Antonia Brenner, the American nun, nicknamed “The Prison Angel,” who cared for inmates at the notorious maximum-security La Mesa Prison in Tijuana, Mexico. She passed away in October 2013. Filmmaker, author, philanthropist and activist Deborah Santana is the recipient of nearly a dozen awards for her humanitarian efforts and was recently recognized by the Dalai Lama.
  • “My Sister’s Voice” includes women who are engaged in social activism and the culinary arts. Isabel Cruz, a chef, author and restaurateur, owns five Mexican-cuisine-inspired restaurants, including the acclaimed Isabel’s Cantina and Barrio Star in San Diego. Lawyer, social justice activist and international consultant Michelle Lerach is the founder of Cups, an organic bakery in La Jolla.
  • Additionally, many photographic subjects are themselves accomplished artists and recognized advocates of arts and philanthropy. Painter, photographer and artisan jeweler Ruth Westreich leads The Westreich Foundation, an initiative-based foundation committed to furthering health and wellness. Ruth is also one of the honorary chairs at the June 6 fundraiser. Award-winning author, photographer and multimedia storyteller Jan Phillips is co-founder and executive director of the Livingkindness Foundation. Teen social entrepreneur Catherine Mitchell, a 2012 recipient of The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, empowers Ugandan women by selling their handcrafted jewelry through her socially-minded business Beauty 4 Life.
  • Athlete Sydney Seau, the daughter of legendary linebacker Junior Seau, is a standout USC sand volleyball player and advocate for awareness, research and innovation in the prevention of professional football brain injuries.
  • The multimedia exhibition will feature 39 evocative portraits of women from diverse generations and cultures, captured by renowned photographer Pablo Mason. Each photograph will be accompanied by a brief video documentary and “note,” sharing a life lesson important enough to be passed on to the next generation, our “sons and daughters.” Additional photographic subjects will be announced soon.
  • Meet the remarkable women at CCS’ June 6 evening reception. Reserve tickets online or by contacting Jennifer Lynaugh at or (858) 272-5777 ext. 151.



Verna Griffin-Tabor, Center for Community Solutions’ executive director and CEO

“The Center for Community Solutions is pleased to unveil the names of the first 10 of 39 photographic subjects from the book and multimedia project in ‘My Sister’s Voice.’ We are honored to be part of this effort to raise social consciousness through the incredible life lessons of inspirational local and international women.”


Alexis Dixon, Notes to Our Sons and Daughters’ project creator

“These 10 remarkable women, whose images are portrayed in ‘My Sister’s Voice’, are acclaimed for their contributions to the arts. On their faces, we can glimpse the wisdom they’ve gained from life.  This exhibition provides a space where women’s invaluable contributions to our common humanity can be heard. It is in listening that we are transformed and can begin to change the world.”



Center for Community Solutions (CCS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that provides prevention and intervention services for sexual assault and relationship violence survivors. Founded in 1969, we have remained committed to solving the problems of violence and abuse, improving the lives of survivors and changing the social conditions that breed and tolerate their existence. We assist more than 11,000 San Diegans each year and operate the only rape crisis center in the city of San Diego. For more information, visit



Editorial Contact:

Elizabeth Brown

(619) 993-4648

April 2014: The Unique June 6 Fundraiser Showcases 40 Inspirational Women From Around the Globe

April 1st, 2014


Center for Community Solutions Announces Public Debut of Photographic Exhibition “My Sister’s Voice”


The Unique June 6 Fundraiser Showcases 40 Inspirational Women From Around the Globe


SAN DIEGO – Feb. 26, 2014 – The Center for Community Solutions (CCS), a San Diego nonprofit that provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse, announces the exhibition, “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters: My Sister’s Voice.” A June 6 evening reception at San Diego’s Broadway Pier and Pavilion serves as the public unveiling of the stylized black and white international photographic collection.



  • The multimedia exhibition will feature 40 evocative portraits of women from diverse generations and cultures, captured by renowned photographer Pablo Mason. Each photograph will be accompanied by a short video documentary and “note,” sharing a life lesson important enough to be passed on to the next generation, our “sons and daughters.”
  • Unique to the June 6 event, the extraordinary women photographed will attend, many coming from all corners of the globe – Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Sudan.
  • “My Sister’s Voice” is the second exhibition in the series “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters.” The first event celebrated the wisdom of elders and raised more than $300,000 for a San Diego nonprofit.
  • The complete photographic collection, along with the womens’ bios, will be transformed into a stunning, yet moving, oversized coffee-table book that will be available for purchase beginning June 6.



Verna Griffin-Tabor, Center for Community Solutions’ executive director and CEO

“Every once in a while, a project comes along that’s so powerful that you have to be a part of it. For the Center for Community Solutions, that project is ‘My Sister’s Voice.’ To have the opportunity to raise social consciousness through the incredible life lessons of women locally and globally is a privilege. Finding and celebrating one’s voice is a powerful way to eliminate oppression and violence that depends on the power of shaming a victim into silence.”


Alexis Dixon, Notes to Our Sons and Daughters’ director

“This project, ‘My Sister’s Voice’ provides a space where the voices of women and their invaluable and necessary contributions to our common humanity can be heard. On their faces, we can glimpse the wisdom they’ve gained from life. From their thoughtful observations, we, all of us, regardless of gender, are invited to a greater understanding of our shared humanity.”








To celebrate the courage, beauty and voice of humanity through the photographs of women.







June 6, 2014

5 p.m. VIP reception

6-9 p.m. General reception and exhibit







Broadway Pier and Pavilion
1000 North Harbor Drive

San Diego








$175 each for general admission

$250 each for VIP (includes private tour with photographer and celebrity host)

Tickets can be purchased online.







Jennifer Lynaugh

(858) 272-5777 ext. 151



Center for Community Solutions (CCS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that provides prevention and intervention services for sexual assault and relationship violence survivors. Founded in 1969, we have remained committed to solving the problems of violence and abuse, improving the lives of survivors and changing the social conditions that breed and tolerate their existence. We assist more than 11,000 San Diegans each year and operate the only rape crisis center in the city of San Diego. For more information, visit



Editorial Contact:

Elizabeth Brown

(619) 993-4648


Sponsorship and Ticket Contact:

Jennifer Lynaugh 

(858) 272-5777 ext. 151


September 2013: Counseling Spotlight

September 1st, 2013

Featured Program: Counseling

 By: Nirvana Habash

CCS sits down with Dany Wilson, Counseling Services Manager, to find out more about the work our therapists are doing to provide hope and healing to survivors of sexual abuse and relationship violence.


The mission of Center for Community Solutions is to end relationship and sexual violence by being a catalyst for caring communities and social justice.


CCS: Explain the role of the counseling department at CCS. How does your work impact CCS’ image?

Dany Wilson: The counseling department is an important step in the long journey to healing and personal empowerment that each and every client experiences, as well as a catalyst for change in the mental health field relating to sexual assault, domestic violence and trauma.


The team uses a non-judgmental approach, as well as an open mind, to allow the client to make their own choices for treatment. At CCS, we prioritize empowerment, which means we encourage every survivor to make the best decisions they can without simply telling them what to do. This allows survivors to be the source of their own process, growth or change. The counseling team makes it a priority to treat each client with care by practicing a trauma-informed approach. This approach allows us to  build a safe place for clients where they can find their personal power and self-worth, reaffirm who they are, process their experiences to aid the process of regaining control over their own lives, and ultimately to break the cycle of violence..



How many staff members do you have, and what are their qualifications?

Counseling has a total of five staff (including three therapists) in addition to nine interns and additional Bachelor or Master’s in Social Work (BSW/MSW) students. 


Within our team, we have a total of five Master’s degrees— four in Clinical Counseling Psychology (MFT) — and two doctoral candidates. Our trainees are in their last year of a Master’s in Counseling program or are in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program in Social Work.


Who should seek counseling?

Anyone who has survived relationship or sexual violence and is experiencing trauma in their lives. We see individuals, families, couples and children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It doesn’t matter if the abuse was recent or years ago.


Any would of advice?

Counseling does not have to be scary or intimidating. It takes a lot of courage to make the call or show up to your first session; however once you do, you may find that counseling really is a safe environment for anyone who would like to process and move through their experiences of trauma, anxiety, depression or daily stresses.


What types of counseling does CCS offer/practice?

CCS offers counseling, both individual sessions and group therapy, to anyone who has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence in their lives. We practice trauma informed therapy approaches which allow us to utilize techniques that are individualized and client centered. In the past we have organized art and dance therapy and we have provided therapy groups specifically for Spanish-speakers or members of the LGBTQ community.


What are the benefits of individual versus group counseling?

Sometimes we are not ready to share our stories to others and need the safety of one person whom we can trust to hold our story, who will remain confidential and who can help us heal. This is the experience that a client can receive in individual counseling. It is a good place to let go and feel both understood and accepted. In a group, the client has an advantage to learn and gain support from others. Group members see that they are not alone and also gain strength from sharing with other people’s successes. The client also has the choice to share their story, which can empower them to take control over their story rather than have the story take control of them. Whether a client chooses individual or group therapy, each has a special place in the process of healing and can assist in the healing process. It is up to the client if they wish to participate in individual counseling, group, or a combination of both.


What CCS locations offer counseling?

CCS offers its counseling services at our Pacific Beach, El Cajon, and Escondido offices, as well as in our shelters. Drop-in support groups and curriculum-based groups will begin again in the Fall.


How does someone enroll in CCS counseling?

To enroll in counseling all you have to do is call the CCS office closest to you and ask for our intake line. You can see a list of our offices by visiting A counselor will follow up within 48 hours.

August 26 | Women’s Suffrage Day

August 26th, 2013

By Verna Griffin-Tabor

and Nirvana Habash

The collective notion that women should have the right to vote came together at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. 72 years later, this came to life as the 19th Amendment to the United State’s Constitution. The Amendment, passed on August 26th, was a contentious piece of legislation, presented in front of an all-male Congress. Even among a storm of opposition, many brave, tenacious and unflappable women would not accept the oppressive beliefs and fears limiting their basic rights!

It is upon those suffragettes’ shoulders that we stand today.

Their courage and passion continues to inspire all of us who are committed to the movement for all people—all around the globe— to have basic human rights and the freedom to live peacefully.

The wounds of harassment and violence can be felt in Steubenville, New Delhi, the Congo, San Diego and far too many other places to list.

There isn’t a woman in the world that doesn’t some time during her daily routine plan for her safety in some fashion; needing to make decisions that would protect her from being sexually assaulted!

Questions like “what was she wearing” and “what she was drinking” perpetuate victim blaming, a conditioned way of thinking that propagates rape culture. Rather, the question should be framed as “how is it possible that we live in a world in which another human being chooses to demean and humiliate and violate another with such degradation?”

This must stop— and at CCS we know it CAN be stopped. Violence is a learned behavior and can be changed. Everyone can do their part large or small.

Let’s honor Women’s Suffrage Day by getting involved, educating ourselves and by speaking up when we see the violence in our families, friendships and communities.

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”

-Malala Yousafzai, Activist for Education and Human Rights for Girls and Women

July 2013: Keeping Kids Safe in the Summer

July 1st, 2013

By Nirvana Habash



It’s finally summertime and CCS is looking forward to warm months and beach days. A topic that comes up a lot during this time is how to prevent and protect our youth from sexual violence, mostly because as kids come home for the summer, parents and care givers are at a loss for helpful tools to address child sexual violence. 

The American Psychological Association has some tips for you, and we tend to agree that these ones are the best:

1) Stranger Danger is a myth; most victims know the person who hurt them.

2) You might have Grandma Sue or Uncle George visiting– offer children the option on how to express affection to their loved ones. Forcing hugs and kisses does not promote positive boundary-setting.

3) At CCS, we teach “My Body Belongs To Me” so that children can determine what makes them comfortable and how to express that to others.

As always, if you suspect that your child is being physically or sexually assaulted, be a safe person and do not judge. Having consistent, open and honest dialogue with your child can aid them to feel more comfortable when telling you there is a problem. 

For more, please give us a call– we’re here to help.



April 2013: 5 Marlee Matlin-isms

April 30th, 2013

(L-R) Verna Griffin-Tabor, Cyndi Benson and Marlee Matlin at CCS’ 14th Annual Tea & Tonic at the Grand Del Mar in honor of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


By Kaija Marshall and Nirvana Habash

1. At 21, Marlee Matlin received an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best actress for her performance in her debut film, “Children of a Lesser God.”, she became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar and only one of four actresses to receive the honor for her film debut.

2. Marlee lost total hearing in her right ear and about 80% hearing in her left ear at 18 months old. Her experience has shaped her identity as an activist—she was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Congress in support of Closed Captioning.

3. Her television credits include a role in ABC family’s series “Switched at Birth”, a three season stint in the groundbreaking series “The L Word”, as Joey Cruz on “The West Wing”, and two reality TV experiences– ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”.

4. Marlee is involved in various types of charity work.   In 1994, Marlee was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service and served as Chairperson for National Volunteer Week. She also currently serves as a national celebrity spokesperson for The American Red Cross and on the boards of a number of charitable organizations (including The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Easter Seals.) She has received numerous awards for her charity work and was chosen as America On Line’s “Chief Everything Officer.”

5. Marlee Matlin has authored three novels for children, “Deaf Child Crossing,” “Nobody’s Perfect” and “Leading Ladies”. In 2009, she published her New York Times Best Selling autobiography, “I’ll Scream Later.”


March 2013: Sister’s Unite for Women’s History Month

March 23rd, 2013

By Nirvana Habash

This March, Center for Community Solutions wants to acknowledge the work of women past and present. From award winning actresses and directors to teenage revolutionaries— here are some of our favorite women through the decades. We honor you all as part of our Sisters Unite Campaign.




We could not be prouder to announce that academy award winning actress, Marlee Matlin, will be CCS’ keynote speaker at our annual tea on April 26th. Marlee is a hero who has shaped mainstream media by making a place for hard-of-hearing and deaf people on TV and film. You can catch Marlee on the ABC show, Switched at Birth, or see her in person at CCS’ 2013 Tea & Tonic.

Marlee, CCS’ Guest of Honor





Today we honor our co-founders, Carol Council and Joyce Nower, who helped create one of the first domestic violence shelters ever and the very first women’s studies program  in the  United States.  You  both sparked  an

incredible light in our community.





Yes, of THE Scripps Family. Ellen was a true local hero, someone who strived to improve the lives of women through simple gestures  and

grand ideas. Her life’s work is all around us.

Ellen’s Legacy




The latest inductees into the San Diego County

Women’s Hall of Fame.

San Diego’s Newest Inducted Heroes





Tina Fey Rocks! She has worked hard to redefine the image of women in the media by acting, writing, and out-clevering others on her way to the top. She is funny, honest and figured out how to have her cake and eat it too. We think she’s a powerhouse.

Rockstar Tina




It is thanks to women like Kathryn Bigelow that all of us can realize there are NO limits to what we can achieve. In 2012, Kathryn became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. TIME Magazine raves that she is “the finest action director at work today”. That’s no small victory!

Kathryn’s Big Win




At a young age, Margaret Cho embarked on her path toward fame. Her comedic genius earned her the respect of many and got her a sitcom. Since then, Margaret has used her personal experiences to become outspoken on issues affecting all women starting at a young age: body image, bullying, independence. She’s a prime example of someone who chooses to improve the world by sharing her

sharing her story.

She’s a Riot




CCS is proud to highlight Ellen & Portia as two awesome women in the cause for equality. Celebrities have an opportunity to shed light on important issues and these two have used their love to garner support of the gay and lesbian community. We wish you a long and happy marriage!

Ellen’s “Brief” to the Supreme Court





Activist Alice Paul brought women’s issues to an all-male Congress, proposing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for the first time. She championed women’s rights and watched as the 19th Amendment passed, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.

Alice Paul From The Beginning




Maybe you’ve heard of Hillary Clinton? Well, CCS hopes so because there isn’t enough room on this page to fully cover Hillary’s impact on the rights of

people everywhere. Thank you for your lifetime of service!

More on Hillary




Women’s History Month is about those who have made and ARE making history. Recognized in 2006 by Forbes as the #17 most powerful women in the world, Michelle Bachelet is revered has having broken barriers in becoming Chile’s first female President.

Madam President




Really all we can say is, THANK YOU for passing VAWA.

A Sight to See




Chief Operating Officer, Facebook


Sheryl Sandberg is a triple threat: she’s business savvy, she’s a brilliant COO at Facebook, and now she’s practically a motivational speaker. She dares to ask us all to LEAN IN and stop sitting on the sidelines. Leading by example, she’s on the brink of becoming today’s most symbolic leader of the women’s movement for equality. “I truly believe that only when we get real equality in our governments, in our businesses, in our companies and our universities, will we start to solve this generation’s central moral problem, which is gender equality.”

Lean In with Sheryl



Founder, Children’s Defense Fund


When Marian Wright Edelman settled in Missisppi as the only female lawyer of her time, she knew it would be her opportunity to make a difference. After all this time, she has never given up. Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian made it her mission to improve the lives of children. In 2009, she spoke at CCS’ 10th Annual Tea — we owe so much gratitude to her and hope you will join our

collective efforts to make our world better for future generations.

A Brighter Tomorrow with Marian



Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics


Who doesn’t know and love Mary Kay Cosmetics? She started with $5,000 and turned it into an internationally recognized, multi-million dollar brand. This is a story of success even after failure, as Mary Kay Ash was a business woman in a world dominated by men. Her legacy inspires others to never give up!

Mary Kay’s Empire



Owner, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)


Oprah may just be the name heard ‘round the world. After decades as the leading talk show host, dealing with the most historically significant topics, interviewing people almost as famous as she is, and impacting the lives of viewers and admirers everywhere, Oprah decided to retire from her show….to

create a network. She is limitless.

Oprah Goes Down in History






CCS was honored to have Gloria Steinem speak at our #### Tea on the Town. She is honest, passionate, and dedicated to the cause of women’s rights. Her revolutionary views have paved a new path for women in the United States. Founder of Ms. Magazine, Gloria provided a platform for women to create open dialogue on sexual harassment, domestic violence, body image issues, and so much more.

The Lovely Gloria Steinem.




More than 50 years after she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, a Rosa Parks statue was revealed in the Capitol to honor her courageous efforts to end segregation. What began as a simple act following a long, hard day’s work, turned into a powerful civil rights movement that transformed the entire country. Rosa Parks is a true champion of equal rights.

A Statue for Equality




Malala Yousafzai is a 15-year old champion of women’s rights all over the world. After being shot by the Taliban for speaking out against the injust treatment of Pakistani women, Malala made an incredible recovery. She is now the youngest person to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

A Young Revolutionary




CCS honors trans* leader, Sylvia Rivera for her work in promoting the rights of trans* people regardless of class, race, or sexual orientation.  Sylvia was part of the Stonewall Riot in NYC  which

sparked the Gay and Trans* movement.

United for All

February 2013: Teen Relationship Violence

February 4th, 2013

By Nirvana Habash

CCS sits down with Jessie Towne-Cardenas, Prevention & Education Director at Center for Community Solutions.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. We work hard to see that teens in San Diego have the tools to build healthy relationships, know their rights under the law, and local and national resources. Here are answers to some of the most important questions when working to spread awareness about violence in the context of teen relationships. 

How does CCS reach out to young people?

In the course of a year, our P&E Department reaches 2,600 young people throughout San Diego County with an average of three to five education sessions. Our trainings are normally presented to students in K-12th grade, or ages 5-18. We provide education primarily in schools, but also other youth-serving organizations like SDYS Storefront, IRC- Girl’s Group, Hillcrest Youth Center, Girl Scouts, etc. Our trainings are based on a public health model of prevention with two goals: 1) Reducing risk factors for victimization and perpetration and 2) Increasing protective and resiliency factors. 

What kind of outreach does CCS’ Prevention and Education Department do in regards to teen relationship violence?

One of our prevention programs at CCS is Camp Barrett, a residential juvenile detention facility for young men between the ages of 16-20. Many of these individuals are at Camp Barrett because of criminal offences for drugs, assault, and involvement with gangs.  CCS has been sending Prevention Educators to Camp Barrett for six years, providing services to 400+ young men every year over the course of three to nine weeks. The topics each week include: healthy relationships, relationship violence prevention, rape prevention, equality and respect, consent and boundaries, and healthy communication. 

CCS provides hands-on training on the topics above to over 2,000 young people all over San Diego County. Our Prevention Educators are invited to present year after year to over 20 schools and communities groups. Some have been providing education from CCS for a decade! 

When you’re working with youth of varying ages, how do you tailor your presentation so that it’s appropriate?

Our department is incredibly equipped to work with all age groups. Generally, themes based on age group are as follows:

Early Elementary

  • Respect and Boundaries
  • Good Touch Versus Bad Touch
  • Personal Space
  • Understanding Others
Late Elementary
  • Respect and Boundaries
  • Friendship/Being a Good Friend
  • How to Help if Someone is Hurt
  • Bystander Intervention
Middle School
  • Bystander Intervention
  • Power and Control
  • Healthy Versus Unhealthy Relationships
  • How to Help
High School
  • Bystander Intervention
  • Power and Control
  • Healthy Versus Unhealthy Relationships
  • How to Help
  • Negotiating Boundaries and Consent
  • Sexual Assault Prevention

How is teen relationship violence different from relationship violence between adults?

There aren’t as many resources for teens as there are for adults who are in violent relationships. And teens who are victims are exposed to so many factors that are not necessarily present when dealing with adults. For instance, relationships between teens are often a symbol of status. Adding the world of social media to the equation, and the recent rise in bullying, it can be incredibly difficult for a teen to open up about a violent partner. Especially if there is no support system in place in the home or at school.

Teens can apply for restraining orders against a violent partner, just like adults. A big difference is that teens probably go to school, have class, and share mutual activities with their abuser. This makes it more difficult to feel safe.

Minors in California have many rights afforded by the state, but how many of them are aware of that? We try to educate young people on these rights and protections, not just the warning signs and prevention tools.

What can adults do?

Parents and adults may not always know that their teens are dating, or they might not approve of dating at all. Often, parents and other adults minimize teen relationships, not realizing the rate of teen relationship violence in San Diego County is higher than the national average. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control found that nationally, 9.5% of high school students had experienced dating violence – defined as hitting, slapping, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. In the same study, San Diego youth reported that 11.2% teenage girls and 11.9% teenage boys admitted to being a victim of dating violence.

It is important that adults start talking about healthy relationships early on and make it part of normal, everyday conversation. Even more important, remember that children mimic the behavior they learn from the adults closest to them. If you are a caregiver, it’s important to model respectful communication and healthy relationships. The media depicts most relationships as being highly dramatic with little equality or mutual respect. Popular shows geared toward teens like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, 90210, Teen Mom, all emphasize the importance of sexual relationships and often include themes such as cheating, controlling behavior, isolation, and dishonesty. If young people are getting this message on television and lack adults who model healthy relationship skills, then they have little chance of learning these important skills on their own. Adults can talk about the relationships young people see in the media and among their peers, be a good example of healthy, respectful relationships, and see out tools on healthy relationships and communication for the young people you care about.

What can teens do?

Know your rights! Youth Law put together this informative document on Minor Consent Laws in California.

If you or a loved one are experiencing abuse, please contact our 24-hour hotline 1-888-DVLINKS.




Jessie Towne-Cardenas has been at Center for Community Solutions for twelve years and has worked in multiple areas of the agency including family support services, after school programming, and case management with adolescent girls in the juvenile justice system.  In her current position as Director of Prevention and Education Services, Jessie oversees a variety of  prevention programs including  parent and teacher education, outreach and education services for relationship violence and sexual assault prevention, 60-hour crisis intervention training for staff and volunteers, and education to increase the efficacy of domestic violence programs for the Iraqi community. 

January 2013: HVH and PSH Auxiliaries

January 23rd, 2013

Dawn, Corinne, Roberta (winner of the raffle), Karen and Kim holding a quilt made by Candace which raised $730 for Project Safehouse.

By Nirvana Habash

CCS thrives on the work and dedication of our volunteers. We often rely on their expertise, their time, and their passion to help CCS be the catalyst it strives to be for caring communities and social justice. Thanks to the incredible women who share their time on our Auxiliary Board for Project Safehouse (PSH) and Hidden Valley House (HVH), our two emergency shelters, we are able to ensure safe, vibrant, and caring environments for women, men and children seeking refuge from abusive homes.

Why does CCS rely on the Auxiliary Boards?

The HVH Auxiliary Board supports our North County shelter, while the PSH Auxiliary Board supports our East County Shelter. We have staff that operate both shelters, including family advocates, hotline operators, and program managers. The staff is responsible for the care of the shelter and the residents who are staying temporarily. Our Auxiliaries foster a feeling of communities at these shelters. Each Auxiliary helps provide monetary and in-kind support. When new residents arrive who are in need of extra assistance, the Auxiliary step up to problem-solve. The members of these Auxiliaries go above and beyond, often hosting parties during holidays, baking cupcakes and cookies with the children who are staying at the shelter.

Are there any upcoming events?

YES! The Auxiliaries are always planning fundraisers.

  • Project Safehouse will be hosting their annual Game Night on March 15th at the Mission Beach Women’s Club.
  • The San Diego Repertory Theatre is offering $10 off your ticket and $10 to PSH for ANY upcoming show when you use the code word “SAFE”.
  • Hidden Valley House’s annual Tea is on November 2nd. More information to come…

How can I help?

We’re always looking to expand the membership of our PSH Auxiliary. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us. If your time is limited, consider making a personal contribution.