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12 Days of Giving – Day 8: Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy

Ellen’s Story

Ellen came to CCS struggling from a very abusive relationship with her husband shattered her self-esteem and made her believe that she is worthless.  Ellen is also the sole caregiver to her 41 year-old son who has a defective heart and lungs, and needs 24/7 attention. The strain of having an abusive partner and the responsibility of caring for her son took its toll on Ellen. 

With the help of CCS’ Domestic Violence Victim Advocate (DVVA), Ellen worked through her challenges one at a time.  Working closely with her DVVA, Ellen embarked on a healing journey and received counseling services.  In conjunction, she was referred to legal services which successfully obtained her divorce and spousal support. Ellen’s DVVA worked tirelessly to connect Ellen with a variety of community resources, including housing, to help her rebuild her life.  With the help of her advocate, Ellen also joined a women’s empowerment program. 

Today, Ellen is a speaker advocate and she shares her journey to give others hope and encouragement. Here’s what Ellen’s DVVA says about her today: “You can see rays of hope and positivity that were dim when we first met her. Ellen also loves to sing and has an amazing voice.”

Your gift of empowerment will help lift the lives of women who are silenced by domestic violence.

12 Days of Giving – Day 3: Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy

Sandra’s Story

Sandra (not her real name) nervously walked into our office with a flyer from her daughter who brought it home from one of our school outreach programs.  She had been living with her abusive partner for 16 years and they have a child.  She was terrified because her husband used her immigrant status to threaten her, making her believe that she could be deported. 

Sandra’s husband was  emotionally, mentally, financially, and physically abusive.  She thought that being forced into sex was just part of her “duties” as a wife.  After talking to one of our advocates, Sandra started to receive various services from CCS, including counseling.

One day, after an incident when both her husband and her 32-year old stepson physically abused her, CCS legal team came to her rescue and we helped Sandra get a permanent restraining order. Following a difficult and long legal process, Sandra finally got a divorce, received full custody of their child, and is receiving spousal support.

CCS is still by Sandra’s side as she continues her journey to healing. Today, Sandra has an apartment and is working towards getting her GED, and she wants to become an advocate for other domestic violence victims.

Sandra is so grateful for all the help that she received from CCS and she believes in paying it forward.  Recently, when she received a donation of turkey and trimmings, she decided to share this gift with another woman whose family has suffered.  Sandra recently said. “I am  very happy that now I use tissues to dry my sweat and not my tears.”

Please help us sustain our life-saving advocacy work for domestic violence survivors by making a gift today.

CCS provides free, confidential Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy (DVVA) services to any individual who is a victim of domestic violence in San Diego County.


• Empowering, non-judgmental emotional support
• Advocacy and accompaniment to court hearings and meetings
• Advocacy and accompaniment to domestic violence-related appointments
• Information and referrals to additional resources including: therapy, support groups, emergency shelter, and parenting classes
• Safety planning for victims and their families
• Education on the dynamics of domestic violence
• Assistance with filing a police report or with reporting the violation of a restraining order

For more information:

Call CCS’s East County Office at 619-697-7477 and ask to speak with a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate