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Early Lease Termination for Survivors: Know the Facts

February 4th, 2016

The following is a reprint of The National Housing Law Project’s toolkit concerning California Civil Code § 1946.7. 

 

California Civil Code § 1946.7 allows survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, elder abuse, and dependent adult abuse to end their leases early. This law empowers survivors to leave abusive situations while avoiding the usual penalties associated with breaking a lease. The toolkit is meant to serve as an introduction to the law’s protections, reflects amendments made to the law that are effective this year, and includes materials for both survivor advocates and their clients.

 

The Right to Break Your Lease to Escape Violence

 Information for Survivors

 

1. What is Civil Code 1946.7?

California Civil Code 1946.7 allows certain victims of abuse who have a restraining order, a police report, or documentation from a qualified third-party to break their leases without owing additional rent.

This law protects victims of:

    • Domestic violence;
    • Sexual assault;
    • Stalking;
    • Human trafficking;
    • Elder abuse; or
    • Dependent adult abuse.

The law also protects family members who live with the victim of abuse.

 

2.   What is the law’s purpose?

 Usually, if you move before your lease ends, you can be held responsible for all the rent that would be owed until your lease expires. Your landlord can sue you for this money. Civil Code 1946.7 allows you to notify your landlord, break the lease, move out, and no longer be required to pay rent.

 

3.   When can I use this law?

 You can use the law if you:

    • Rent and have a lease;
    • Have a restraining order/protective order, a police report, or a signed document from a certain kind of professional; and
    • Need to move because you are, or a family member living with you is, a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder/dependent adult abuse.

 

4.   How do I tell the landlord?

 You must notify your landlord in writing that you are (or a family member living with you is) a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder/dependent adult abuse, and that you want to end the lease. Be sure to date the notice.

 

5.   How much notice must I give the landlord?

 You must give the landlord at least 14 days’ notice before the lease can end. You are free to leave your apartment anytime after giving your landlord the notice. However, you will still be responsible for the rent up to 14 days after  giving the landlord the notice.

 

6.    What type of proof do I need?

 You must give your landlord one of the following:

    • a copy of a restraining order or protective order;
    • a police report showing that you are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder/ dependent adult abuse; OR
    • a signed document from a certain type of professional that verifies your status as a victim of abuse.

 

7.  If I have a police report or restraining order, how long do I have to break my lease?

 The police report or restraining order/protective order can be no more than 180 days old.

 

8.  Can I break my lease without a police report or protective order?

 Yes. California Civil Code 1946.7 allows you to break your lease without obtaining a protective order or police report. You can break your lease by obtaining a signed document from a “qualified third party,” or a professional such as a doctor, registered nurse,  psychologist, licensed  clinical social worker, domestic violence or sexual assault counselor, among others. You must also sign this document. If you need help obtaining this type of document, your local legal aid office or domestic violence agency can help prepare the document and direct you to a professional who can sign it.

 

 

9.  What needs to go in this document signed by a professional?

 The law contains specific language that should be included in the document. Additionally, the law requires that the victim include a signed statement that he or she has experienced abuse. For help preparing this document, you should contact your local legal aid or domestic violence agency.

 

10.   What will happen to my security deposit?

 Your deposit will be treated the same way as if you had moved out at the end of your lease. The landlord must return your deposit within 21 days after you leave. The landlord can deduct money for unpaid rent, damages beyond ordinary wear and tear, and cleaning charges.

 

11.   What if I have a month-to-month rental agreement?

 You may not need to use Civil Code 1946.7 if you have a month-to-month rental agreement. You might be able to move by simply giving your landlord written notice that you will leave the unit in 14 days. However, check with a legal aid attorney to figure out the terms of your rental agreement.

 

12. What if I have roommates?

 Your roommates can remain in the unit, even after you move out. They must continue to pay the full amount of rent, including your share. 

 

13. Can my landlord tell anyone that I am a victim of abuse?

 The law prohibits your landlord from sharing any information you provide to the landlord about the abuse unless you give the landlord written permission, or the landlord is required to do so by another law or court order. The landlord may contact the professional who signed a document stating you were abused to confirm that the document is true.

 

14. What if I need help to use the law?

If you believe your landlord isn’t following the law, contact a legal aid attorney, fair housing agency, or domestic violence agency.

 

For a copy of the above information in English and Spanish, plus:

  • a Q & A for advocates, 
  • a sample 14-day notice that can be used to terminate a lease under this law, 
  • a template for a qualified third-party statement, 
  • safety planning concerns that should be addressed when using the law, 
  • and the text of Civil Code 1946.7,

please copy and paste:

http://nhlp.org/files/Early-Lease-Termination-Toolkit-Combined-Advocates-and-.Survivors.pdf

Policy Successes and New Laws, 2015-2016

January 5th, 2016

Lindsay Riedel

 

Thanks to advocates and activists all over California, we now have better protections for DV/SA related sick leave and early lease termination, in addition to awesome changes in the U-Visa process for undocumented survivors of abuse. Also, the California education system now has greater ability to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual assault and high school graduates will be better equipped with knowledge on healthy relationships and identifying abuse.

 

Successes and new laws that pertain to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, 2015-2016:

  • Early lease termination protections for survivors of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, sexual assault, and elder abuse (AB 418)
    • “If a tenant is in an unsafe living environment, they are able to break the lease with a statement from a counselor or caseworker (previously, the survivor could only request termination of a lease if they filed a police report or obtained a restraining order). [Also] the new law makes it easier to leave by decreasing the survivor’s remaining rent obligation from 30 days… to 14 days.”
  • Improved U-Visa process for immigrants who are survivors of abuse (SB 674)
    • “a U-visa allows immigrant violent crime victims, along with close family members, to apply to live and work in the U.S. if they assist law enforcement in bringing perpetrators to justice.”
    • SB674:
      1. Requires that a U-visa application receive a decision within 90-days (previously, this process could take 2-3 years)
      2. Creates a “presumption of helpfulness” – meaning that the survivor no longer has to prove helpfulness; her or his helpfulness is presumed unless proven otherwise.
      3. Requires agencies to report the number of U-visa requests they received and which were denied and approved in an attempt to increase transparency and highlight potential inequity across jurisdictions.
  • Sexual Harassment & Violence Course for High School Graduation (SB 695)
    • This bill “requires health courses, which are a condition of graduation at a majority of California high schools, to provide instruction on sexual assault, violence and the importance of developing positive, healthy relationships.” The curriculum must include information on the affirmative consent standard established in SB 967, which was signed into law last year (also known as “Yes-Means-Yes”).
  • Strengthening On-Campus Sexual Assault Protections (SB 186)
    • This bill gives UCs, CSUs and California Community Colleges the jurisdiction to remove, suspend, or expel a student for sexual assault or sexual exploitation even if the incident happens off-campus.  
  • Protected Sick Leave for absences resulting from DV or SA (SB 579)
    • California Kin Care Law clarifies that absences resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are protected sick leave. Also, it expands paid sick leave protections to include providing for parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling in addition to providing for a parent, child, spouse, or registered domestic partner
  • Increased funding for VOCA, VAWA, and FVPSA
      • Congress passed FY 2016 funding bill with increased amounts for programs authorized by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA).

 

Opportunities for Action:

 

Also see Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Memorandum on Federal Efforts to Improve the Safety of Domestic Violence Victims 

Coping with Triggers During the Holidays

December 24th, 2015

By Lindsay Riedel and Alejandra Ceja-Aguilar 

Holidays can be a particularly difficult time for survivors of abuse as triggers can often times set off a memory or a flashback that takes the person back to the event of the original trauma. These triggers can be activated through the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, and the reactions to triggers can feel painful or frightening and even cause a person to lash out or isolate themselves.

During the holidays, there can be a lot of pressure placed on people to engage in social gatherings. However, it’s important to know that you have the right to give yourself permission to do what’s best for you, even if that means stepping away. If attending the annual invitation to family dinner over the holidays is emotionally exhausting or overwhelming, it’s okay to turn it down. Let your family know that your decision has to do with taking care of yourself. Communicating with loved ones can help them be better able to support you.

And in our effort to also be supportive of you, we have gathered up some suggestions on steps you can take to get through triggering moments during such times. ** Please note that the following list is by no means exhaustive and is meant to be used as a toolkit to help you through a flashback or stress inducing moment.

 

1)     Create physical space from the trigger: Separate yourself from the trigger, if possible. It may be a good idea to move away from the situation, person, or thing which is triggering you, and give yourself space so that you can figure out what happened and reflect on how you’re feeling.  This is especially important if you feel unsafe.

2)     Create emotional space through grounding and breathing techniques.  Once you’ve created physical distance from the trigger and you feel that you’re in a safer space, it can help to remind yourself where you are, what day or year it is, and an observation about something in the room. For example, “I am 28, it is December 2015 and my chair is very soft. It is red with black arm rests and a low back. The material feels rough like tweed. My feet touch the ground.” Factual, objective observations that bring you back into the present moment help to create some emotional distance from the trigger. It may also be helpful to focus on your breathing: concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths.

3)     Redirect your mind by thinking about things that make you feel safer or calmer in a technique called resourcing. What is your favorite animal or pet? Who do you feel good and safe with and what is your favorite thing to do with that person? Is your “happy place” a beach or a meadow? Where is it? Try to go there in your mind: concentrating on the things that make us feel safe, calm, and happy can help redirect the negative effects of a trigger.  

4)     Give yourself permission to be upset. Although it may be helpful to focus on grounding and resourcing techniques to calm yourself, it is also important that you listen to your body and let yourself be upset if you need to. Trauma affects us at every level – physical, emotional, neurological – and if what you need in that moment is to be upset, that’s ok.

5)     Ask for help.  Although it might be hard to reach out, it may be very helpful to tell someone what you’re going through and let that person know how they can be helpful to you. Do you need someone to just listen? Or do you need someone to sit quietly with you? If there isn’t a friend or counselor you can reach out to, remember that you can call CCS’ 24-hour toll-free crisis line at 888-385-4657.

6)     Make a self-care plan: What do you like to do that makes you feel relaxed, happy, empowered, or peaceful? For some people, creative activities like painting or drawing is a form of self-care, while for others it’s exercise or meditating. Identifying your mode(s) of self-care and scheduling regular time for it is important for your long-term emotional health.

 

Additionally, some suggest to prepare a simple and specific excuse to use if you become uncomfortable and you need to leave early. Also, it may be helpful to carry a small object like a stone or a penny to use as a grounding object.

 

We hope you have found this information helpful. Wishing you a free, fulfilling, and empowered holiday season!

 

References and Additional Suggested Reading:

Coping with Triggers, Arizona State University

Surviving the Holidays, Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Coping with Triggers – Chat Transcript, Pandora’s Aquarium

Tips for Enjoying the Holidays, Victim Service Center

 

 

Funding Increases for VOCA, VAWA, and FVPSA Included in Final FY 16 Funding Bill

December 17th, 2015

Thanks to all who contacted their Congress person and advocated for a funding increase! CPEDV summarizes the victory: 

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – $2.26 (estimated) billion will be distributed via State Victim Assistance Grants

This is approximately a 15% increase in State Victim Assistance Grants from the historically high funding in FY 15!

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – $477.5 million

VAWA funding was increased in several areas, most notably by $22 million for STOP (the formula grant to states to support services, law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts) and $4 million for Transitional Housing.

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) – $150 million

This funding level represents a $15 million increase for FVPSA!

 

Although the federal funding increases are very good news, it is disconcerting that the money going to VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) is coming from VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). As NCADV explains:  

VAWA is taxpayer-funded and is intended to improve the system-wide response to violence against women; its primary recipients are law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and prevention programs.  VOCA, in contrast, is funded by criminal penalties and provides services and compensation for victims of all crimes; its primary recipients are direct service providers and individual victims.  These are two very different funding streams with different purposes and different recipients.   

 

Nonetheless, thank you to all who helped make this happen. Our healing and prevention efforts could not exist without your tireless support.

Thank you, Mary Kay Foundation!

October 2nd, 2015

ccssd_logo_main

 

 

For More Information

Edith A. Glassey

858-272-5777, ext.123 or eglassey@ccssd.org

 

THE MARY KAY FOUNDATION AWARDS CENTER FOR COMMUNITIY SOLUTIONS (CCS) $20,000 GRANT FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMS

 

Local Shelter is One of 150 to Receive Funding in Advance of

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

San Diego (Oct. 2, 2015) – Center for Community Solutions (CCS), an organization that provides emergency and transitional shelters for women, children and families affected by domestic violence in San Diego County received a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation℠. In observation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Foundation has awarded $20,000 in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for a total of $3 million. 

           

While more than half of the grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses, others hire much needed personnel, complete repairs and facility renovations or add programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve.  Center for Community Solutions will use the grant funding to provide a bilingual therapist, which is critical to providing inclusive, trauma-informed counseling services to help victims of domestic violence begin to heal and rebuild their lives.

 

“At Center for Community Solutions, we are incredibly grateful for the support from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and its commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence,” said Verna Griffin-Tabor, Executive Director.  “This grant will increase our language capacity to provide bilingual and bicultural trauma specific therapeutic services to our Spanish speaking shelter and counseling clients.”

 

 “Mary Kay has a long-standing commitment to prevent and end domestic violence,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “While progress has been made in the United States in meeting the needs of the thousands of domestic violence survivors who seek help each and every day, there remains a significant gap between funding and resources. We know from our work with shelter directors across the nation that the Foundation’s annual grants are a lifeline for many shelters and continues to impact an epidemic that touches one in every four women.” 

 

Since 2000, The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has donated $35.6 million to domestic violence organizations through its annual shelter grant program. Each year, grants are awarded to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state with the

remaining grants distributed based on state population. U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands have also received funding through the Shelter Grant program. Approximately 625 domestic violence shelters applied for funding this year.

 

 

About The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue.  The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has awarded $64.2 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States.  To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation℠, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

 

About Center for Community Solutions

Founded in 1969, Center for Community Solutions assists more than 10,000 individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. CCS operates the only Rape Crisis Center in the City of San Diego along with a 24-hour bilingual crisis helpline as well as hospital and court accompaniment services for rape survivors; counseling, legal and advocacy for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors; and prevention and education outreach to youth and adults of all ages. CCS provides three 24-hour emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children. Connect with CCS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. www.ccssd.org

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Showdown 2015! New, Re-designed and Re-imagined. Join us on October 29!

August 28th, 2015

Center for Community Solutions’ 11th Annual Chef Showdown is Back!

New, re-Imagined and redesigned event benefits victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault

 

San Diego, CA (August 5, 2015) – Center for Community Solutions (CCS) will host the 11th  Annual Chef Showdown, on Thursday, October 29 at a stunning new waterfront venue, the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier.  The annual fundraising event takes place during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is held in October throughout the country.  This one-of-a-kind culinary event will benefit programs and services of CCS, a San Diego nonprofit that provides advocacy, legal support, healing and prevention services for survivors  of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse.

 

New and exhilarating additions this year! Get up close and personal with 10 of San Diego’s top Chefs and Mixologists who will battle head-to-head to create over the top culinary creations with exquisitely paired cocktails. Featuring Calvin Hanis from Carnitas Snack Shack, Lota Accursio from Solare Ristorante and Lori Sauer from George’s at the Cove, two teams of five chefs and mixologists will compete using a featured ingredient and their dishes must pass and impress a panel of six industry professionals and a People’s Choice Judging Panel.

 

Featured judges for the competition include Chef Bernard Guillas, from The Marine Room, Isabel Cruz, Executive Chef and Owner of The Cantina Group, Candice Woo, founding Editor of Eater San Diego, Chef Amy Dibiase from Tidal and Mixologist Jeff Josenhans from the Grant Grill at the US Grant Hotel. In addition, guests can bid for a spot on this brand new judge’s panel and vote for the People’s Choice Award.  Emmy Award winner Sam Zien from the famous television show Sam the Cooking Guy will host the competition.

 

Chef Showdown will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, 1000 N Harbor Drive. Tickets to the event are $250 each, and can be purchased by calling (858) 272-5777, ext. 151, or online at https://ccssd.ejoinme.org/cheftickets2015.

 

Chef Showdown is co-chaired by Deborah Higgins, President of Higgins Capital and Tamara Romeo, Founder and CEO of San Diego Office Design. Most importantly, Chef Showdown is also a fundraising event to support the much needed services for Center for Community Solutions.  Over 600 supporters including individuals, businesses, corporate sponsors, and political and community leaders will attend the culinary event to enjoy the chef competition, taste an array of delectable creations from more than 20 restaurants, sample a variety of wines, and bid on auction items.

 

 

About Center for Community Solutions

Founded in 1969, Center for Community Solutions assists more than 11,000 children, individuals, and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse each year. CCS operates the only Rape Crisis Center in the City of San Diego along with a 24-hour bilingual crisis helpline as well as hospital and court accompaniment services for rape survivors, legal and advocacy for domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse survivors, and prevention and education outreach to youth and adults of all ages. CCS provides three 24-hour emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children. Connect with CCS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

ChefShowdown_SAVEtheDATE

Save the Date for Tea & Tonic 2015!

February 3rd, 2015

Tea and Tonic 2015 slideMark your calendars and save the date for Center for Community Solutions’ 16th Annual Tea & Tonic event fundraiser on Friday, April 24, 2015 at The Grand Del Mar. The annual event is held to coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month which is commemorated across the United States each April.  

The “high tea” fundraising event benefits prevention and intervention programs and services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The event features a celebrity guest speaker who shares his or her personal journey as a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence. Tea & Tonic also celebrates valued sponsors, committed volunteers and business and community leaders from across San Diego County who continue to support the agency’s mission: to end relationship violence by being a catalyst for caring communities & social justice.

Tickets are available for purchase at www.ccssd.org for $150 per person. Sponsorships are available beginning at $1,500 per table. For further information, please contact Special Events Manager Jennifer Lynaugh at jlynaugh@ccssd.org or call 858-272-5777, ext. 151. 

SDSU Receives $200k Grant to Combat Sexual Violence

January 22nd, 2015

SDSU Receives $200k Grant to Combat Sexual Violence  
The grant will fund a full-time sexual assault victim advocate on campus and other prevention and education resources and activities.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 22, 2015)— San Diego State University has received a $200,000 grant from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services  (Cal OES) to better prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault on campus.

The grant is part of the Cal OES Campus Sexual Assault Program, which aims to create a comprehensive coordinated response that is survivor-centered, enhances survivor safety, provides confidential services to assault survivors, hold offenders accountable and includes prevention activities.

“For months, administrators from across campus have been meeting to discuss the best ways to combat sexual violence on campus,” said Jessica Rentto, associate vice president for Business and Financial Affairs and Title IX coordinator for SDSU.

“This grant provides SDSU with additional resources allowing us to fund additional positions focused on sexual violence prevention and it provides resources so that SDSU can implement cutting edge programs and activities.  SDSU, together with the San Diego-based Center for Community Solutions, can be a real model for how universities across the country handle the issue of sexual assault.”

Support on and off campus

The grant will allow SDSU to have a full-time sexual assault victim advocate on campus, who will be trained and hired through the Center for Community Solutions. It will also allow for a part-time police officer dedicated to sexual assault prevention, training and investigation.

“CCS is pleased to partner with SDSU.  We have come full circle with the university ever since our organization was started at SDSU in 1969 by two female students who believed in empowering women and girls, and at the time provided safety for those fleeing relationship violence,” said Verna Griffin-Tabor, CEO of Center for Community Solutions.

 ”Each day that we partner together to combat sexual and relationship violence brings us closer to a community where everyone can feel safe on and off campus, and foster a community that believes in violence prevention and social justice,” Griffin-Tabor continued.

SDSU submitted an in-depth proposal to Cal OES in July to be one of two universities to be funded with an annual allocation of up to $200,000 per year for three years. The other university to receive the grant is California State University Long Beach.

SDSU is committing an additional $66,667 of its own resources to support the grant activities.  

The grant will also allow the university to expand its Sexual Violence Task Force to include representatives from community agencies and local law enforcement. This expansion will help SDSU develop a comprehensive and coordinated community response relating to incidents of sexual violence to ensure that survivors are fully supported both on and off campus.

Additional funds will be used for student, faculty and staff trainings, community outreach efforts and educational materials. A portion will also be allocated to student organizations to support events and activities targeted at sexual assault awareness and prevention.

An engaged campus

SDSU recognizes sexual violence as a challenge that universities across the country continue to face, so the university will continue to provide opportunities to the campus community for meaningful dialogue and action related to eliminating sexual violence. Below is a list of activities, events and resources SDSU is offering this semester:

Public Briefings: Beginning in early February, members of the campus Sexual Violence Task Force will give bi-weekly briefings on a variety of topics related to this issue. Discussions may range from the campus judicial process, to survivor support, to open question and answer sessions. The first briefing will be held on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. The location is being determined and more information about these briefings will be forthcoming soon.

Women’s Resource Center: The search process is underway for a coordinator of the soon-to-open Women’s Resource Center, which will foster safe, inclusive and affirming social and educational interactions for women-identified students. The campus community will have the opportunity to meet the finalists for this position at public forums. More information will be forthcoming soon.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week: The student subcommittee of the Sexual Violence Task Force is planning several events to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness Week, April 20-24. These events including guest speakers, training programs, and support for the Womyn’s Outreach Association (WOA) Take Back the Night event, check the Title IX website for updates.

Training: Over the break, Resident Advisors in all residence halls received additional training about reporting sexual violence and supporting victims through the process. Members of the Greek community have scheduled their Agent of Change online training and have participated in dialogues about the role the Greek community plays in sexual violence and its prevention on campus. The Greek community will also host a week of events at the end of February to help discuss and raise awareness about this important issue. More information about the Greek community’s activities can be found here.

Campus Climate Survey: A campus climate survey relating to sexual violence will begin April 6. The purpose of the survey is to gauge the prevalence of sexual assault at SDSU, determine students’ attitudes and awareness about the issue, and help to craft solutions.

It’s On Us Pledge: Students, faculty and staff are invited to take the It’s On Us pledge and promise to help put an end to sexual violence at San Diego State University.

For more information about events and activities, check the university’s Title IX website often.

***

About Center for Community Solutions
Founded in 1969, Center for Community Solutions assists more than 10,000 women, children and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. CCS operates the only Rape Crisis Center in the City of San Diego along with a 24-hour bilingual crisis helpline as well as hospital and court accompaniment services for rape survivors, legal and advocacy for domestic violence survivors, and prevention and education outreach to youth of all ages. CCS provides two 24-hour emergency shelter and transitional housing programs for victims of domestic violence and their children.

About San Diego State University
San Diego State University is a major public research institution offering bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. The university provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.

San Diego Top Chefs Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence at Iron-Chef Style Competition for the 10th Annual Chef Showdown

August 5th, 2014

Proceeds benefit Center for Community Solutions

Center for Community Solutions (CCS) will host the 10th  Annual Chef Showdown, on Thursday, September 18 at an exciting new venue, the San Diego Harley Davidson on Morena Boulevard.  The annual fundraising event kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is held in October throughout the country.  This one-of-a-kind culinary event will benefit programs and services of CCS, a San Diego nonprofit that provides advocacy, legal support, healing and prevention services for survivors s of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse.

The event highlights San Diego top chefs participating in an “Iron Chef” style competition and they include Amy Dibiase from Tidal, Lori Sauer from George’s at the Cove, Jason McLeod from Ironside, and Brandon Fortune from Kitchen 1540. Two teams of chefs and mixologists will compete using a secret ingredient and their dishes must pass muster in front of 8 judges.

The judges for the competition are Chef Bernard Guillas from The Marine Room, Restaurateur Ingrid Croce, Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey, Executive Chef Paul McCabe, and Executive Chef Flor Franco from the newest restaurant in the Guadalupe Valley, Convivia Artesanal. In addition, two judge spots will be offered to guests for bidding during the live auction portion of the evening.  Emmy Award winner Sam Zien from the famous television show Sam the Cooking Guy will host the competition.

Chef Showdown is co-chaired by Isabel Cruz, Executive Chef and Owner of Isabel’s Cantina, and Dee Dee Castro, Community Relations Manager from Viejas. Most importantly, Chef Showdown is also a fundraising event with a net income goal of at least $100,000 for much needed support for Center for Community Solutions.  Over 600 supporters including individuals, businesses, corporate sponsors, political and community leaders attend the culinary event to enjoy the chef competition, taste an array of delectable creations from more than 20 restaurants, sample a variety of wines, and bid on auction items.

Chef Showdown will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at San Diego Harley Davidson, 4645 Morena Boulevard. Tickets to the event are $150 each or $250 for a VIP reservation, and can be purchased by calling (858) 272-5777, ext. 120.

About Center for Community Solutions

Founded in 1969, Center for Community Solutions assists more than 11,000 women, children and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse each year. CCS operates the only Rape Crisis Center in the City of San Diego along with a 24-hour bilingual crisis helpline as well as hospital and court accompaniment services for rape survivors, legal and advocacy for domestic violence and elder abuse survivors, and prevention and education outreach to youth of all ages. CCS provides two 24-hour emergency shelter and transitional housing programs for victims of domestic violence and their children.

 

Media Contact: Audrey Doherty

Mobile: 619-977-7960

Center for Community Solutions Announces Wellness Activists, Legal Advocates and Community Leaders Photographed for “My Sister’s Voice” Exhibition

May 12th, 2014

CCS Unveils Final Group of Inspirational Women Photographed for June 6 Fundraising Reception

 

SAN DIEGO – May 14, 2014 – The Center for Community Solutions (CCS), a San Diego nonprofit that provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse, announces the final 10 of 40 women featured in the international photographic exhibition, “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters: My Sister’s Voice.” The exhibition will debut with a June 6 evening reception at San Diego’s Broadway Pier and Pavilion. The last 10 participants are prominent wellness activists, legal advocates, community leaders and they build upon the previous announcements of photo subjects who are government and education luminaries, international leaders and arts and culture contributors.

 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • The photographic exhibition features several women who are wellness activists, legal advocates and community frontrunners including executive, leadership and team coach Bette Hoffman. With over 20 years of experience designing and facilitating workshops for managers in the health and human services, Hoffman is the recipient of nine competitive training grants. Speaker, author, health and wellness advocate Ellen Dolgen demonstrates lifelong commitment to wellness education through board representation, fundraising and event organization along with her weekly newsletter, Menopause Mondays, which promotes well-being for women around the world. Deborah Szekely, hailed as the “Godmother of Wellness” by the Huffington Post, is a prominent activist, writer, founder and board member of numerous organizations and is considered a San Diego icon.  Jewel Kelley, a member of the Center for Community Solutions advisory board and one of the founding members of The San Diego Black Nurses Association (SDBNA) chapters, works diligently to influence change relative to the health care needs of African Americans.
  • Other exhibition subjects leverage the law in their community-advocacy efforts. Jerrilyn Malana represents Fortune 500 clients and local businesses in all types of employment-related litigation, is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Employment & Labor Relations Law Committee for the Section of Litigation, shareholder at Littler Mendelson, former President of the San Diego County Bar Association and was recognized on the list of The Best Lawyers in America for 2013. As a California Western student Samantha Shine McPherson aspires to become a federal prosecutor, and through commitment to public service McPherson received the 2012 Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Scholar distinction, as well as the California State Bar Foundation Diversity Scholarship.
  • The exhibition includes other prominent community activists. Elizabeth Yamada, a former teacher, partner and owner of a landscape architecture firm, and member of the Japanese American Citizens League serves on multiple foundation advisory boards and has earned considerable recognition through her reflections on Japanese American internment. Linda Katz, co-founder of Women Give San Diego, has served as a community leader and civic activist in the San Diego region for over 30 years, is the founding president of The San Diego Women’s Foundation and recipient of numerous advocacy and volunteer awards. Other exhibition subjects are survivors of domestic violence. Crystal Harris, a stockbroker and activist, purposefully transforms her life experiences as a catalyst to take a stand against domestic violence injustice. Jeanine Lee a public speaker, survivor and advocate for social justice issues, especially those affecting women and children, domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • The multimedia exhibition features 40 evocative portraits of women from diverse generations and cultures, captured by renowned photographer Pablo Mason. Each photograph is 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.”
  • Meet the remarkable women at CCS’ June 6 evening reception. Reserve tickets online or by contacting Jennifer Lynaugh at jlynaugh@ccssd.org or (858) 272-5777 ext. 151.

 

ABOUT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

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 http://www.ccssd.org/.

 

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Editorial Contact:

Christina Gramatikova

(858) 880-4538

christina@townsendteam.com

 

 

Center for Community Solutions Announces Government and Education Luminaries Photographed for “My Sister’s Voice” Exhibition

May 12th, 2014

CCS Discloses Penultimate Group of 40 Inspirational Women Photographed for June 6 Fundraising Reception

 

SAN DIEGO – April 29, 2014 – The Center for Community Solutions (CCS), a San Diego nonprofit that provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse, shares the third group of 10 women featured in the international photographic exhibition, “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters: My Sister’s Voice.” The exhibition will debut with a June 6 evening reception at San Diego’s Broadway Pier and Pavilion. The 10 newest participants revealed are trailblazers in government and education, and they expand our previous announcements of photo subjects who are international leaders and arts and culture luminaries.

                                                                                 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • The photographic exhibition features several women who are government leaders, including newly elected Speaker of California Assembly Toni Atkins, who champions causes ranging from healthcare, affordable housing and economic development to LGBT and veterans’ rights. Former U.S. Representative for California and Chief of Staff to California Governor Gray Davis, Lynn Schenk sits on the boards of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Scripps Research Institute and the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Sycuan Tribal Charlene Worrell-Eckel, commissioner for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Gaming Commission, helped her tribe reclaim 2,000 acres of ancestral land.
  • Several of the exhibition’s subjects are trailblazers in education. Both Dee Aker and Jennifer Freeman hail from the University of San Diego’s prestigious Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ). A psychological anthropologist and conflict-resolution professional, Aker serves as deputy director of the IPJ and created its Nepal Peace Initiative, WorldLink Program and the Women PeaceMakers Program. Freeman directs the Women PeaceMakers Program and, with Aker, launched the first Women PeaceMakers Regional Networks to support women’s myriad roles in peacebuilding during and after conflicts. Steffanie Strathdee, Ph.D., is director of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative, associate dean for Global Health Sciences and chief of the Division of Global Public Health in the Department of Medicine, where she leads a research and training program focusing on infectious diseases of global health importance. Anne Otterson serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, a member emeritus of the Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center Board and a supporter of the UC San Diego Foundation and numerous local charities.
  • At San Diego State University Carol Rowell Council co-founded the nation’s first women’s studies program and later co-founded what is now known as the Center for Community Solutions (CCS), which this photographic exhibition benefits. She and others involved with CCS add their wisdom and photographs to “My Sister’s Voice.” Current CCS CEO Verna Griffin-Tabor is committed to the prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence and serves on the boards of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and the University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. CCS Board Member Anita Crandall is an employee-relations consultant and staunch advocate of community involvement and workplace diversity who also serves as a Campaign Cabinet Member of the United Way of San Diego.
  • The multimedia exhibition features 40 evocative portraits of women from diverse generations and cultures, captured by renowned photographer Pablo Mason. Each photograph is 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.” The final 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 jlynaugh@ccssd.org or (858) 272-5777 ext. 151.

 

QUOTES

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

“The Center for Community Solutions is pleased to announce the names of 10 more women photographed for ‘My Sister’s Voice.’ I am truly honored to be a part of this exhibition and humbled to be photographed and quoted alongside 39 inspirational women.”

 

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

“These 10 extraordinary women, whose images are portrayed in ‘My Sister’s Voice’, are government and education luminaries. It is an honor to amplify their remarkable voices through our multimedia exhibition.”

 

ABOUT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

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 http://www.ccssd.org/.

 

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Editorial Contact:

Elizabeth Brown

(619) 993-4648

elizabeth@townsendteam.com

15th Annual Tea & Tonic Held on April 23rd, 2013

May 12th, 2014

 

SAN DIEGO (May 3, 2014) – Center for Community Solutions (CCS), recently held its 15th Annual Tea and Tonic event at The Grand Del Mar. The organization which provides intervention, healing, advocacy, and prevention programs and services for individuals affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse, reports that preliminary event proceeds are at an all-time record  high, raising over $225,000. 

 

The Premier Sponsors for the event were Nordstrom, Sycuan, HD Supply and The California Endowment. Media Sponsors were Riviera Magazine and Clear Channel Communications, and Contributing Sponsors included The Patricia & Christopher Weil Family Foundation, The TJX Companies, and Club Pilates.

 

The Tea event is held annually during the month of April in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month with 500 guests including local businesses, community leaders and philanthropists who attended this year.  Kimberly Hunt and Steve Atkinson, anchors of ABC Channel 10 News served as the event emcees.

Also included in this year’s program, CCS presented its Courage Award to Danielle Tansino, a sexual assault survivor who received healing services from CCS.  Ms. Tansino started a campaign called “Red My Lips” which launched in 2013 to encourage supporters to wear red lipstick all throughout the month of April to increase visibility and awareness related to sexual violence, demonstrate support and solidarity with survivors, and combat rape culture and victim-blaming.  “Red My Lips” has supporters in 49 countries.

CCS also recognized Las Patronas as its Volunteer Organization of the Year.  Las Patronas is an all-volunteer organization and they have generously supported CCS and over 1,000 charitable institutions in the San Diego community since 1946.  Another Community Hero Honoree was Michelle Lerach who was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year.  Ms.Lerach is not only a financial supporter of CCS; she also volunteers her time to the organization and donated weekly deliveries of food to the agency.  Her philanthropic work on empowering women from San Diego to Africa and Liberia embodies CCS’ vision for all people to live full, free, expressive and empowered lives.

 “While CCS works with very serious and difficult issues of relationship violence and domestic abuse, this event is an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the community’s overwhelming support in raising awareness and critical funds to ensure that we can be there each day for those who need our help,”said Verna Griffin-Tabor, executive director of Center for Community Solutions.

Proceeds from the “Tea & Tonic” benefit CCS’ full range of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse programs, including emergency response teams, a 24-hour hotline, two emergency shelters, victim advocacy, two transitional housing programs, case management, court accompaniment, clinical services and legal services.

About Center for Community Solutions

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 and the only elder abuse program in the county of San Diego.

For more information, visit http://www.ccssd.org/.

 

 

Center for Community Solutions Announces International Leaders Photographed for “My Sister’s Voice” Exhibition

May 12th, 2014

CCS Reveals Second Group of 40 Inspirational Women Photographed for June 6 Fundraising Reception

SAN DIEGO – April 2, 2014 – The Center for Community Solutions (CCS), a San Diego nonprofit that provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse, introduces the second group of 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. These 10 subjects are making an impact on a global scale, while the first 10 subjects introduced are active in the arts and culture community.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
• The photographic exhibition features several women who are leaders internationally, including a 2013 U.S. Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award recipient Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, who has handled more than 2,000 cases of violations of women’s rights in Nigeria and currently heads the country’s Campaign for Democracy. A 2012 “Champion of Change” White House honoree, Fary Moini is an Iranian-born nurse who spearheaded the foundation of the Jalalabad Rotary School and educates women and girls and provides training to healthcare professionals in Afghanistan.

• Four of the exhibition’s subjects were named a “Woman PeaceMaker” by the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. Rutuparna Mohanty, the fourth daughter of freedom-fighter followers of Mahatma Gandhi, is a human-rights lawyer, social activist and publisher of the weekly newspaper, Janani (“The Voice of Women”) in India. Rehana Hashmi leads Sisters Trust Pakistan, where she helps victims of domestic violence break free of religious fundamentalism and forced marriages. Sabiha Husić, a psychotherapist, Islamic theologian and interreligious peacebuilder, directs Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Medica Zenica, which provides psychosocial and medical support to women and children victims of war and post-war violence. Philister Baya Lawiri, chairperson of South Sudan’s Civil Service Commission, is a human-rights activist working to advance women’s engagement in the peace process.

• “My Sister’s Voice” also includes several women involved in improving healthcare, nutrition and special health services for women and girls internationally. Dorah Wanyana Dunigan is an activist helping girls stay in school in her native Uganda; she is also HIV-positive and training to become a doctor so she can help find a cure. Dr. Eunice Sanchez-Mata is an internal-medicine and pediatric physician at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego; she is also a staunch, international healthcare advocate and director of Friends & Family Community Connection’s medical program, which hosts mobile medical clinics in remote places and countries where there is little access. Elisa Sabatini serves as the executive director for Via International, a community development organization working on the US/Mexico border to strengthen community capacity in the areas of nutrition and ecology, microcredit, leadership and “voluntourism.” Hailing from Somalia, Amina Sheikh Mohamed manages the African American Campaign for UC San Diego’s Network for a Healthy California, which provides health and nutrition education to low-income African Americans.

• The multimedia exhibition features 40 evocative portraits of women from diverse generations and cultures, captured by renowned photographer Pablo Mason. Each photograph is 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 jlynaugh@ccssd.org or (858) 272-5777 ext. 151.

QUOTES
Verna Griffin-Tabor, Center for Community Solutions’ executive director and CEO
“The Center for Community Solutions is pleased to reveal more of the 40 photographic subjects from the book and multimedia project ‘My Sister’s Voice.’ These pioneering women are having an international impact on society, and we are honored to have them as part of our event.”

Alexis Dixon, Notes to Our Sons and Daughters’ project creator
“These 10 remarkable women, whose images are portrayed in ‘My Sister’s Voice’, are internationally acclaimed for their contributions and activism. I am proud to help amplify their voices though these powerful images, stories and events.”

ABOUT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS
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 http://www.ccssd.org/.

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Editorial Contact:
Elizabeth Brown
(619) 993-4648
elizabeth@townsendteam.com

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.

 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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 jlynaugh@ccssd.org or (858) 272-5777 ext. 151.

 

QUOTES

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.”

 

ABOUT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

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 http://www.ccssd.org/.

 

 

Editorial Contact:

Elizabeth Brown

(619) 993-4648

elizabeth@townsendteam.com

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.

 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.

 

QUOTES

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.”

 

 

Why:

 

 

 

 

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

When:

 

 

 

 

 

June 6, 2014

5 p.m. VIP reception

6-9 p.m. General reception and exhibit

Where:

 

 

 

 

 

Broadway Pier and Pavilion
1000 North Harbor Drive

San Diego

Tickets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

$175 each for general admission

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

Tickets can be purchased online.

Contact:

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Lynaugh 

jlynaugh@ccssd.org

(858) 272-5777 ext. 151

 

ABOUT CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

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 http://www.ccssd.org/.

 

 

Editorial Contact:

Elizabeth Brown

(619) 993-4648

elizabeth@townsendteam.com

 

Sponsorship and Ticket Contact:

Jennifer Lynaugh 

(858) 272-5777 ext. 151

jlynaugh@ccssd.org

 

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 www.ccssd.org. 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

WHAT’S UP WHEN SCHOOL’S OUT?

 

 

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.

1-888-385-4657

 

 

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.

 SPOTLIGHT

 MARLEE MATLIN

#SistersUnite

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

 

LOCAL

 CAROL COUNCIL & JOYCE NOWER

#SistersUnite

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.

CCS Now

 

ELLEN SCRIPPS

#SistersUnite

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

 

AURORA SORIANO CUDAL, BETTY EVANS BOONE, IRMA CASTRO, CONSTANCE CARROLL, & DOROTHY HOM (NOT PICTURED)

#SistersUnite

The latest inductees into the San Diego County

Women’s Hall of Fame.

San Diego’s Newest Inducted Heroes

 

 ENTERTAINMENT

 TINA FEY

#SistersUnite

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

 

KATHRYN BIGELOW

#SistersUnite

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

 

MARGARET CHO

#SistersUnite

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

 

ELLEN DEGENERAS & PORTIA DEROSSI

#SistersUnite

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

 

 POLITICS

 ALICE PAUL

#SistersUnite

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

 

HILARY CLINTON

#SistersUnite

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

 

MICHELLE BACHELET

#SistersUnite

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

 

THE WOMEN OF THE 113TH CONGRESS

#SistersUnite

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

A Sight to See

 

 BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP

SHERYL SANDBERG

Chief Operating Officer, Facebook

#SistersUnite

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

 

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN

Founder, Children’s Defense Fund

#SistersUnite

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

 

MARY KAY ASH

Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics

#SistersUnite

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

 

OPRAH WINFREY

Owner, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

#SistersUnite

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

 

 EQUAL RIGHTS

 

GLORIA STEINEM

#SistersUnite

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.

 

ROSA PARKS

#SistersUnite

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

#SistersUnite

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

 

SYLVIA RIVERA

#SistersUnite

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