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How Do I Use the TVH Food Pantry?

Within the past few months, many people have called or told Food Pantry staff that they do not know how to sign up, or what to do to get groceries from the Food Pantry. “I’ve never done this before,” and “I’m ashamed that I have to get help” are common statements we hear from community members.

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 07.54.34The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the cracks in our system and expanded its weaknesses. Sources indicate between 22 million to 30 million people have registered for unemployment since Shelter-In-Place orders began in March, as well as an increase in demand for food banks/pantries.

In order to address this growing need for access to Food Pantries but also maintain protections against the coronavirus, Tri-Valley Haven has slightly shifted how we run the food pantry. We recognize that this is an unprecedented time in recent history, so we are taking steps to ensure that we can best help the community.

So how do you sign up for Tri-Valley Haven’s Food Pantry? During COVID-19, you:

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  1. Walk up to the table at the Haven food pantry (address provided below).
  2. Present photo ID. This does not have to be a CA Driver’s License, just some form of official document with your name and your photo.
  3. Sign your name, the number of people in your family, and whether you receive any government benefits.
  4. Receive pre-bagged groceries.

And that’s it! We do not ask for a source or proof of income. You do not have to fill out packets of forms. We do not question your background. The only requirement right now to receive groceries from us is that you live in the Tri-Valley area: Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, or Sunol. Like all of our services, we do not share your information with anyone else.

What to expect when you visit:

  • We are located at 418 Junction Avenue, Livermore, CA, 94551, at the same location as Mar Thoma Church. We are open Monday-Thursday 1-5, Friday 12-4, and closed on weekends. Once you enter the gate, we will have a table out by the parking lot
  • We ask that you wear a mask or face covering when you visit, in order to protect yourself, others, and our staff. If there are multiple people at once, we ask that you wait in line at least 6 feet behind the person in front of you.
  • When you get to the front table, we ask you to sign your name, and to present your photo ID. This is to verify your identity, and to make sure we spell your name correctly.
  • We will pass you pre-bagged groceries. If you need something specific or have dietary restrictions, you are more than welcome to ask for specific items. We cannot guarantee that we have everything, but we will work with you to best meet your needs.
  • In addition to food items, we also have baby supplies, hygiene products, and pet food. If you need any of these items, please ask.
  • As previously stated, you can visit once a week. Normally you can access the food pantry twice a month, but we have changed the policy due to special circumstances around COVID-19.
  • Understand that we will not judge you or make any assumptions when you come in for groceries. As we can see from both national and international data, it is a tough time for a lot of folks, and we want to help you out as much as we can. If you need help, you deserve to have access to it without experiencing any shame or stigma–food is a basic need and no one deserves to go hungry.

Due to the high volume of clients we serve, the food pantry is often unable to answer the phone or return calls right away. If you have any questions, please call our Food Pantry at 925-449-1664 OR call our Administrative Building at 925-449-5845 (and leave a message if staff is not available). They can answer any questions or concerns that may come up. In addition, these are the best numbers to contact if you are interested in making food donations.


Emily is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how to access or support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

COVID-19 and Keeping Children Safe from Abuse in Their Homes

As COVID-19 has spread in our communities, carrying with it fear, isolation and economic hardship, there has been press attention and grassroots activism around the plight of people in abusive relationships and now even more trapped by shelter-in-place.  It is hard enough for an abuse victim to leave a violent relationship during normal times.  In the middle of a worldwide emergency where the main protection is to stay at home, it’s even harder.  At Tri-Valley Haven and other domestic violence agencies and rape crisis centers, it is welcome news that there has been public recognition of this scary new reality.

However, there is another topic that I have not seen getting the same amount of attention, and that is: What happens to children trapped in shelter-in-place homes, where home itself is not safe due to child abuse or child sexual abuse? Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 14.04.21

Since April is both Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Child Abuse Prevention Month, I thought it would be worthwhile to look for what information might be out there about how children are faring.

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Because of COVID-19, families are having to remain in their homes.  Schools are shut down; so are after-school activities, sports, and pretty much anything else that gets kids out of the house.  Being taken away from daily routines is hard on children and parents alike, but for children who are being abused, it means they have been removed from the eyes of other adults who might be able to spot warning signs.  And while there have been a lot of suggestions on how to educate and entertain kids at home – from online comic books, to home activity packs from companies and organizations, and far more, these activities still happen within the home or yard.  That means that children might still be in homes where they are unsafe, without those hours away at school or in other activities that provide them respite and a chance to disclose what is happening to them.

In houses with domestic violence or sexual abuse, secrecy and isolation are key ways in which the abuser controls the victims of abuse and covers up what is going on inside the house.  Social distancing, while vital for keeping us safer from COVID-19, also can have the side-effect of increasing the cover of darkness under which abuse flourishes.  Child protective services, when called, are usually called by people like teachers, counselors, coaches, and others who can keep a watchful eye on children in distress.  Right now, none of those people have much contact with the children they normally see.  During a pandemic, with everyone experiencing fears over health, safety, job security and food security, as well as combatting isolation and loneliness, families already under stress or at risk for violence can be stretched past the breaking point.

As I searched for information on this topic, I was happy to see that there are several articles out there on the internet that put a spotlight on this issue.  Angelina Jolie wrote an article in Time Magazine this month called “Children Seem to Be Less Vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Here’s How the Pandemic May Still Put Them at Risk.”  In it, she cites the New York Times and other reports about how the pandemic has been fueling a rise in domestic violence incidents worldwide and illuminates the unseen dangers facing vulnerable children at this time.  PBS has also run an excellent article on the topic.

So, as you’re reading this, you might be asking:  What can be done to help?  That is an evolving conversation right now – we are in unprecedented times.  However, there are some things you can do right now!

The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children has a special COVID-19 section that provides access to information and resources as does the Children’s Bureau.    The Child Helpline Network, another international organization, also has a special coronavirus section.  On a more personal front, if we know families who are suffering from stress due to lockdown, simply checking in with them can be a lifeline and a way of getting insight into what might be going on in the home.  We can educate ourselves on the warning signs of domestic violence and stress.  For parents under emotional strain themselves, there is a good list of resources here.

We can also contribute aid financially to domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers, like Tri-Valley Haven, who are on the front lines of protecting moms and their children from domestic violence, sexual assault, and molestation each day and every day.  Violence does not stop for COVID-19, and neither do we.  We provide safe shelter, counseling, and other assistance this day and every day, no matter what. 


From the Tri-Valley Haven Family to Yours: 

Be healthy, be safe, and together we build a world without violence!

NSAC Group

Carolyn is the  Advocacy & Communications Specialist  at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how you can support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org  To donate: http://www.trivalleyhaven.org/donate.html

What is your #1Thing?


“Change can start with only #1Thing. One person’s actions may seem insignificant, but together a communities’ collective “#1Things” can lead to real social transformation.” –Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP)

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For this month’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, DVAP launched the #1Thingmovement in order to highlight how one thing can raise awareness or change someone’s life regarding domestic violence. This social media movement has national reach—domestic violence shelters began posting about #1Thing in September, but other organizations, survivors, and supporters are spreading the message.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 17.14.29Looking at the countless posts on social media in the first half of October, one sees that the movement is not just about how everyone can do just one thing, but that there are so many different things you can do to address domestic violence. Whether it is promoting awareness about domestic violence, how to actively help survivors, or providing information to help someone better understand different dynamics of domestic violence, there are many things that you can do in order to help stop domestic violence.


We asked our staff what their #1Thing is:

“#1Thing I/you can do to support survivors is be an active bystander

“#1Thing I/you can do to prevent domestic violence is advocate for those who have been silenced.”


 “#1Thing I want everyone to know about domestic violence is that it cuts across race, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation etc. Male victims rarely report abuse for fear of judgement.”


“#1Thing I want everyone to know about domestic violence is that it doesn’t discriminate; it can affect any gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, etc.”


“#1Thing I/you can do to prevent domestic violence is do not ignore red flags, see them, and move on.”


“One thing I want everyone to know about domestic violence is that it is closer to home than people probably realize. Not for a second did I ever think my friends or family had gone through DV until I started working for Tri-Valley Haven’s Domestic Violence Department and they opened up about their own experiences to me.  There are resources available and people willing to listen. You’re never alone.”


“The #1 thing I can do to support survivors is to support them, believe them, and make time for them to tell their story and really listen to it when they do.”

“The #1 thing I can do to prevent domestic violence is to support agencies and legislation that put women’s issues, needs, and rights at the forefront of the national agenda and to never let our rights get rolled back on my watch.”


 “#1Thing you can do to prevent domestic violence is continue to advocate for those who struggle to advocate for themselves and make time because healing takes time.”


You can also see others’ posts by searching for the #1Thing hashtag, or you can join this movement by posting your #1Thing on Twitter, Instagram, or any social media that you use during this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. But make sure that you bring it beyond social media and apply your #1Thing (or any that you see) to your life, because that is how we can make change.

What is your #1Thing? Write in the comments, or tag us in your posts!

Having ‘the talk’ #SuicideAwarenessMonth

Tips for Talking About Suicide

As our long-time readers know, September is Suicide Awareness Month. According to NAMI, almost 45,000 individuals died by suicide in 2016. We have written other blog posts about suicide, its relationship to domestic violence/sexual assault, and different ways individuals can work to prevent suicide. For this year, we will discuss how to talk about suicide with someone who may be suicidal. Suicide is often thought of as this lofty, far-away subject, so many people do not know how to best engage with someone who is suicidal.

  1. The first thing you can do is ask. “I noticed you have been depressed/down/acting differently lately. Are you thinking about killing yourself?” Asking directly will not cause someone to become suicidal. Instead, you will open the topic for discussion, whether they are thinking of suicide or not. This form of direct conversation removes the ‘taboo’ element from the subject, thus making it easier to seek help.

When you ask, make sure you do not phrase it in a way that may be judgmental. “You’re not thinking of killing yourself, are you?” can be perceived as more of an accusation or judgment, implying that the only ‘right’ answer is that they are not thinking of suicide. This could cause the person to become less likely to seek help, for fear that others will think negatively of them.

  1. Be prepared for the answer. You may want them to say “No, I am not thinking about suicide,” because you cannot envision your loved one contemplating suicide. However, if you are going to talk about suicide honestly and in a manner that would most help someone, you need to be ready to hear that “yes.”

If you do not feel that you are ready to talk about suicide with someone, you can call a suicide or crisis hotline for help. These hotlines exist to help people thinking of suicide, so they are a great resource to help you offer help to someone else.

  1. Validate their experiences, but don’t minimize. Everyone has a different experience, so recognize that what they are experiencing or feeling is valid. They know what they are feeling—just because someone else may not understand why they have these feelings does not mean that these feelings do not exist or are not valid.

While you discuss that their feelings and experiences are valid, do not minimize what they are going through. Suicide is a significant health issue—someone’s thoughts of suicide should not be taken lightly.

  1. Offer resources. By starting dialogue with the individual, you are becoming a resource to them. While you may become an invaluable resource for support, they may need other resources for information or help. You do not need to push a formal typed list of every suicide organization and counseling resource on them, but it helps if you know of some websites for them to check for additional help. This way, you can fully acknowledge that while you may not have all the answers personally, the answers are possible to find.


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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741-741

TrevorLifeline (LGBTQ+ Youth): 1-866-488-7386

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255








Emily is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how to access or support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

National Compliment Your Mirror Day

What is it??

July 3rd was National Compliment Your Mirror Day. It is a day to celebrate who we are as a person, beyond outer appearances. Our self-worth, our quirks, our personalities, our contributions to the people around us, our approach to the world: that is what this day is about.Screen Shot 2019-07-08 at 10.52.03

This can be especially difficult following an experience with domestic violence or sexual assault. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience depression, anxiety, and/or low self-esteem following domestic violence or sexual assault.

Some ways to recover emotionally following abuse:

Remember that it was not your fault. No one asks to be abused or assaulted. Any actions you took helped you to survive, so they were the right actions. The actions and choices of another person do not define who you are, and you are more than your past.

Everyone has different ways of coping, so what works for one person may not be very helpful for another. It is important to find what works for you, and to not assume that you are unable to heal because one path didn’t work for you.

Talk to someone. It can be a family member, a friend, a crisis line, or a professional. You can even start with a pet or inanimate object. Just speaking out loud can help you sort through various

you-got-thisPositive affirmations: Many people are used to thinking critical statements about ourselves. Although it can be difficult, try to rethink this self-talk to have a more positive spin. Once you think of a positive affirmation, repeat it, then repeat it again. “Progress, not perfection,” “I am always doing the best that I can,” or “I am very capable of changing my own behavior, but I can ONLY change MY behavior,” are great starting points. Initially you might think it is silly or weird to repeat these statements to yourself, but hearing—or even just thinking—these statements several times assists in changing your view of yourself. By repeating these statements, you will begin to believe them more and more, shifting your mindset towards yourself to a more positive and realistic view. You can use National Compliment Your Mirror Day as a starting point for this practice, and work it into your routine.

Reminding yourself that you are worthy. Whether it is love, attention, compassion, power of your own body, help, or anything else, you are worthy.

If you need help in your healing journey, Tri-Valley Haven offers free counseling services, both personal counseling and group therapy with a focus on either domestic violence or sexual assault. Our crisis line is always open if you need to talk to someone immediately.







Emily is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how to access or support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

Breaking down Stigma: Abuse and the LGBT+ Communities

“That doesn’t happen to us.” “We both fight each other.”

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At a recent high school booth event, we asked students questions about various sexual assault or domestic violence topics. One student proclaimed, “If it’s LGBT+, I’ll know it.” When asked if those in LGBT+ relationships are impacted more, less, or at a comparable level to those in heterosexual relationships, the student answered less. They were shocked to find out they were wrong, stating they thought that homosexual relationships were more “genuine” or “equal.”

A CDC study published in 2010 found that bisexual women were disproportionally impacted by rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner than heterosexual women.

  • 44% lesbian, 61% bisexual, and 35% heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their life
  • 26% gay, 37% bisexual, and 29% heterosexual men experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their life

A study focusing on trans individuals published in 2015 reported that 47% of trans individuals experienced sexual assault at some point in their life (this compares to 46% of bisexual women). Furthermore, 54% of trans individuals focused on some form of intimate partner violence, with 24% of survey-takers reporting severe physical violence (compares to 18% of the US adult population).


Barriers with the LGBT+ Community

Sexual violence is pervasive in the LGBT+ community, but this is not as commonly known as it should be, as seen with the high school student. There are many barriers that individuals face that are unique to this community, making it less likely for someone to come forward to friends—let alone make a police report or seek domestic violence or sexual assault-specific services.

  • Do not want to “betray” the community by bringing negative attention to another LGBT+ person

There is a lot of stigma towards this community for simply existing. Individuals may feel that exposing abuse may give the community as a whole a bad image.

  • Fear they may be ousted from the community for accusations

As with abuse or violence in heterosexual couples, it is possible that the victim will not be believed by their friends or support systems. Many LGBT+ individuals have tightly knit communities in their area that are other LGBT+ folks; thus, if they are not believed, they lose access to that entire community. While this may not necessarily happen, the fear of losing that community may keep the individual from disclosing.

  • Not out—especially with domestic violence

By coming out about domestic violence someone experienced, they may out themselves accidentally. Furthermore, this could contribute to the abuse: “If you leave me/don’t do what I want/etc., then I will out you to your family.”

  • Marginalized communities—people of color, bisexuals

Intersectionality matters. Historically marginalized communities, such as people of color, may face more barriers. People who identify as bisexual are sometimes falsely characterized as “easy,” or not “gay enough” or “straight enough.”

  • Preconceived notion of abuse only existing within heterosexual cisgender binary
  • Lack of LGBT+ accepting resources
  • Fear of mistreatment—not believed, blamed on orientation



How can we address this problem?

Make space in discussions of domestic violence and sexual assault for LGBT+ perspectives. Something as basic as using male pronouns in referring to perpetrators and female pronouns in referring to the survivor in education around abuse reinforces the myth that abuse only occurs in cisgender, heterosexual relationships, where the male is always the perpetrator.

Recognize your own biases in relationship dynamics. It is not uncommon for people to think that behaviors in a heterosexual couple are abuse, but those same behaviors in a homosexual couple are acceptable. By recognizing these possible biases, we can extend the reach of the “Me Too” movement, where any form of abuse or violence is not acceptable regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Tri-Valley Haven is an LGBTQ+ affirming organization, meaning that individuals can seek services and be accepted for their identity, free of discrimination or animosity.

Emily is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how to access or support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

For additionalresources and information:

Trans Individuals: Forge— https://forge-forward.org/anti-violence/for-survivors/

LGBTQ+: The Network La Red— http://tnlr.org/en/ (Massachusetts-based, but has further information for various communities)

General info: RAINN—https://www.rainn.org/articles/lgbtq-survivors-sexual-violence

Myths about LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence: HRC— https://www.hrc.org/blog/common-myths-about-lgbtq-domestic-violence

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline: 1-800-832-1901



Smith, S. G., Zhang, X., Basile, K. C., Merrick, M. T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., & Chen, J. (2010). NISVS: An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation. Center for Disease Control.

James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.


Click to access For-Service-Providers-Barriers.pdf

Yearlong Sexual Assault Awareness


April was National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)!


Tri-Valley Haven was busy with prevention education presentations at local schools, at our Candlelight March in Livermore and raising money for our shelter for those who have experienced interpersonal violence at our Sweat for the Shelter event.  While April is the month is dedicated to raising public awareness about rape and sexual

violence, it should not be the only time that these issues are discussed.

Here are some facts about sexual assault:

Sexual assault involves any form of unwanted sexual activity including, but not limited to rape, marital rape, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse, incest, forcing to watch pornography, and denying the use of contraception.  Pervasive and indiscriminate, sexual assault affects people in all communities regardless of age, gender, ethnic background, religion, culture, and socioeconomic status.  One in five women in the United States has been raped in her lifetime[1].  If you are a survivor of sexual assault, it is important to know that you are not alone.

To better understand sexual assault, it is helpful to learn what it is not.  Many myths persist regarding sexual assault.  A common one is that women lie about being raped for attention or to seek revenge.  False reports occur only 2-10 percent of the time; in fact, 63 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police[2].  That holds true for a variety of reasons such as having a fear of not being believed, fear of being blamed, fear of retaliation, and a distrust of law enforcement.  Reporting has many pros and cons that a trained counselor can discuss with a survivor to help the survivor make the choice that they feel is most right for them. Some benefits of reporting is that it can help abuse go on the record and it can help establish a pattern of behavior committed by the perpetrator.  Since many rapists are repeat offenders and aren’t usually charged or convicted the first time, having such information on record can help substantiate future reports of sexual assault against the perpetrator.  Another pro is that California law entitles survivors of sexual assault to an advocate.  Once a report is made, a Sexual Assault Advocate is immediately dispatched to provide support to the survivor through the emotional, medical, and legal process following an assault. However, at Tri-Valley Haven, we support survivors whether or not they want to report the assault to law enforcement, we believe it is a survivor’s choice, and survivors can still receive our advocacy services and get support without ever reporting (unless in circumstances where we are mandated to report abuse by law).


Tri-Valley Haven is committed to building a world without violence.  The Rape Crisis Center (RCC) at the Haven offers a variety of supportive services such as a 24-hour crisis line, advocacy, support groups, individual counseling, information and aid to friends and family.  The RCC strongly believes in prevention through education and offers community classes to local schools, workplaces, neighborhood organizations, and places of worship.  The Haven also hosts self-defense workshops for women and girls throughout the year at Las Positas College.

Through a collective effort by the Haven, the community, and you, we can create homes safe from abuse, a more peaceful society, and a world free of violence.  For more information on any of the Haven’s services or how to get involved, please visit our website at www.trivalleyhaven.org.

Please join Tri-Valley Haven on May 16th:
LunaFest Film Festival in Livermore.  This event is a nationally touring film festival that features award-winning short films by, for, and about women.  The evening starts with a VIP reception at Zephyr Grill with food and drinks beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by films and snacks at 7 p.m.  If you wish to attend the VIP reception get your tickets early as the VIP is always a sell out!  General Admission with movie snacks and films will begin at 7 p.m.  Purchase tickets at:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lunafest-livermore-ca-tickets-55413712907

[1] Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J. & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[2] National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2012). False Reporting Overview. Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/publications/false-reporting-overview


This blog post was written by TVH staff member Aubrey. Aubrey is our PREA Coordinator at Tri-Valley Haven who heads our services at Santa Rita Jail under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).  For more information about how you can support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

Awareness of Teen Dating Violence on #TDVAM

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Tri-Valley Haven aspires and works toward, “protecting those in need, helping them to grow again, and seeking to build a more peaceful society.” So, naturally, we want to draw attention to issues and topics that related to those values. For those of you that don’t know, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen Dating Violence Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it. One way that Tri-Valley Haven contributes to this noble effort, is by educating the youth in our community about healthy relationships, as well as unhealthy relationships, through a Prevention Education program.

The Prevention Education team is a diverse staff of Tri-Valley Haven employees that reach out to local middle schools and high schools to provide a wealth of knowledge that goes beyond talking about bullying and peer pressure. The Prevention Education team, through various presentations, activities, videos and reading materials, takes special care to inform students and young adults about the more-than-alarming reality of Teen DV, and just how relevant knowing what Teen DV is, looks like and how to get help really is.

Teen Dating Violence is defined, according to the CDC, as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional aggression within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner.

Dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And, nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors! When the Prevention Education team presents these statistics to students and young adults, the common reaction is disbelief and overall shock. The truth is, these numbers are only a snapshot representation of cases that have been reported. So many cases go unreported, and the TVH Prevention Education team spends a lot of time discussing the reasons teens and young adults don’t report or leave an abusive relationship.

What are the risk factors for teen dating violence?

Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults, and the media. All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is NEVER acceptable! Violence is related to certain risk factors. The risk of having unhealthy relationships increases for teens who:

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  • Believe that dating violence is acceptable
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have other symptoms of trauma
  • Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviors
  • Use drugs or illegal substances
  • Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners
  • Have a friend involved in teen dating violence
  • Have conflicts with a partner
  • Witness or experience violence in the home

What are the consequences of teen dating violence?

Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen. Youth who experience dating violence are more likely to:

  • Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
  • Exhibit antisocial behaviors
  • Think about suicide or attempt suicideScreen Shot 2019-02-12 at 18.27.00

Additionally, youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college.

Communicating with your partner, managing uncomfortable emotions like anger and jealousy, and treating others with respect are a few ways to keep relationships healthy and nonviolent. Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations like Tri-Valley Haven, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.

So, from all of us here at Tri-Valley Haven, we invite you to share the power your hands have to create meaningful relationships, raise awareness and educate others. Remember, everyone has a hand in ending dating violence! Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!


Tri-Valley Haven






Teen DV Month | Loveisrespect.org


Teen Dating Violence|Intimate Partner Violence|Violence Preventtion|Injury Center|CDC


This blog post was written by TVH staff member Kelly. Kelly is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how you can support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org


Human Sexual Trafficking: A Local and Global Issue


When we hear the phrase “human trafficking,” it’s easy to think of it as an abstract act that doesn’t occur near us. Human trafficking is a highly organized crime that is unfortunately prevalent in California. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline’s Ranking of 100 Most Populous U.S. Cities, five California cities are ranked in the top 25: Los Angeles is second, San Diego came in at eleventh, San Francisco followed at twelfth, Sacramento was close at thirteenth, and Oakland fell at twenty fourth1. As an agency in the Tri-Valley area, these cities are close to home but they are not the only ones affected. The Tri-Valley is also a common place for human trafficking and trafficking in the Tri-Valley looks much different than it does in those other cities.

Women, pain, closeup.

As there is a lower population in the Tri-Valley compared to the cities mentioned above, the trafficking is less visible to the naked eye, but it still exists in high numbers. There is no common street where trafficking happens in the Tri-Valley (as there is in Oakland); here, it is kept more private: moved to the internet, parlors, salons, restaurants, and other businesses. Adults and kids are recruited at their schools, through other kids, on social media, or at local hangouts. Our own staff have accompanied police on stings at local restaurants and have also seen salons and parlors suspected to be fronts for trafficking. Our staff has also been sent to local Tri-Valley high schools to provide counseling and resources to teens who were being recruited by other teens or who were trafficked themselves.

Before we move forward, we all need to understand the definition of human trafficking, because it truly is modern-day slavery. It involves exploiting an individual through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of forced labor, commercial sex, or both. Human trafficking is an epidemic in California and many juvenile victims are members of our communities. A teacher in Contra Costa County recently shared that a storefront six blocks from the high school she works at was shut down due to human trafficking2.


As one might suspect, it is easier to manipulate/groom a child and by the time they become an adult, they are broken down and dependent on their trafficker. Once the trafficker gets into their mind, it’s easy for them to maintain control, similar to a domestic abuser. We are seeing an increase in predators using technology and social media to identify a potential victim’s vulnerabilities or weaknesses in order to exploit them for personal gain. Technology also allows the trafficker to keep constant tabs on their victim.

The state of California recently decided that our youth needs to be educated and the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act (AB 1227) was passed in 2017, which requires all public schools to order education and training about human trafficking to both staff and students, with an emphasis on identification and prevention. I am proud to say California is the first state in the nation to adopt such a mandate and we hope to see other states follow suit.

Tri-Valley Haven has an Anti-Sexual Trafficking Program to support sexual trafficking survivors. We strive to bring community awareness, introduce education into the community, and provide support and stability to survivors of trafficking.

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma due to sexual trafficking, Tri-Valley Haven’s program offers housing (upon availability), a restraining order clinic, counseling services, advocacy services, and access to our food pantry. For more information about these services, call us at (925) 449-5845, or if you are in crisis, our crisis line is (800)884-8119.

1. National Human Trafficking Hotline. Ranking of 100 Most Populous U.S. Cities (2017).
2. California Educators. A Vile Epidemic: Sex Trafficking (2018).

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 09.58.59Megan is the Sexual Assault Lead Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how you can support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

The Importance of Domestic Violence Awareness & Action Year-Round

While Tri-Valley Haven strives all year long to raise awareness and be strong advocates against domestic violence, special attention is given to the topic every October as it is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. JPG-DVAM.jpg

There is truth in numbers. Almost 20 people per minute are abused by a partner in the United States, meaning more than 10 million people per year. In fact, on a usual day, more than 20,000 calls are made to domestic violence hotlines in the U.S. alone. One in four women and one in seven men have  been the victims of severe physical violence from a partner in their lifetime and, even more concerning is that one in five children are exposed to domestic violence each year with 90% of these children witnessing and encountering the violence themselves.

Silence does not end the violence! Every October on the first Saturday, Tri-Valley Haven hosts the Pace for Peace, a 5K/10K walk-run in Livermore.  This year’s event was held on October 6th and over 200 community and staff members participated, raising essential funds to support the programs that allow Tri-Valley Haven to continue to provide a multitude of services, support and awareness for Domestic Violence and more.

Tri-Valley Haven makes a staunch effort to connect with our community and over the years, events like Pace for Peace, as well as our annual Candlelight March which will be held on October 18th at 7:00 p.m. We will meet at Civic Park at Main Street and Bernal in Pleasanton. Candles and glow sticks will be provided to participants. We will march to the old Pleasanton Hotel and back with our Tri-Valley Haven banner, providing handouts with our contact information for interested onlookers. Again, please join us and encourage others to further support Tri-Valley Haven as we strive to create a world without violence.



  1. NCADV | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ncadv.org, https://ncadv.org/statistics


If you or someone you know is struggling in healing from trauma due to sexual assault, sexual trafficking, or domestic violence, Tri-Valley Haven offers counseling and support groups to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. To make your first appointment or find out more about the groups, please call us at (925) 449-5845


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