• Powered by Tri-Valley Haven

  • Meet Our Bloggers

    Carolyn - Advocacy & Communications Specialist

    Jessie - Sexual Assault Advocate
  • Contributing Authors

  • Advertisements

A Smart Gift – by Sara (Tri-Valley Haven Grant-Writer)

Not too long ago, the Haven received a small card from a former client. She was writing us to let us know she was okay, and to thank us for all the support she received from our agency. With her card, she’d enclosed a small gift to support Tri-Valley Haven.

I work in fundraising. I write grants and appeals, which means I am sometimes buried in paperwork. But every once in a while, I take out this card and read it again to remind myself what I’m working for—this success: Someone who has overcome crisis, healed, and gone on to thrive to the point that she feels able to give a little back. It doesn’t matter the size of the gift; it’s her act of giving that speaks volumes.

So I’m writing here to ask you to make a similar act and sign up to become a monthly donor to Tri-Valley Haven. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount; even a small gift made regularly can add up to a meaningful success.

Giving monthly is smart. Steady donations allow the Haven to plan ahead so we can use your support most effectively.  It’s also efficient. Once you sign up we’ll remove you from our appeals list, saving more time and money. We’ll only contact you to tell you what’s happening at the Haven.  And it’s easy! You can sign up on our site and your donation will be deducted automatically each month on the date you choose. You can modify the date your gift will be deducted at any time.

When people like you join together, the impact of your giving is magnified. We hope you will join us in reaching our goal of $4,000 in monthly donations by the time Tri-Valley Haven turns 40 in June of 2017.

Thanks to the mmail-thank-you-card-235x300any donors who’ve already stepped up, we’re half-way there!  Please help us reach this important goal! Make this smart gift remembering the times people helped you, or when you helped someone else, or wanted to but couldn’t. Or think of this little card of thanks that we received in the mail. With your gift, you can help create more success stories like hers.



Domestic Violence Awareness Month

40th-anniversary-tvh-logoTri-Valley Haven works all year long to raise awareness about domestic violence, but each October we make a special effort to get the community involved in our efforts because that is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For nineteen years, we have kicked off the month on the first Saturday in October with our Pace for Peace, a 5K/10K walk-run in Livermore. The Pace began as a modest effort that would draw about thirty staff members and volunteers who collected pledges to raise funds as well as awareness. We were thrilled when the first Pace raised over $1,000. Over the years the event has grown to attract serious runners and families with their children and pets, who learn about our agency and support our mission with their registration fees as well as our own family of staff, volunteers and individual and corporate supporters who continue to collect pledges. This year was our most successful Pace for Peace ever, with more than 280 registered participants, and pledges and registration fees that netted over $15,000 to support our programs.carolyn-iphone-photo-dump-october-2012-1054

Please join us as we close out the month’s activities on Friday, October 21, when we gather in Pleasanton for our annual Candlelight March. We will meet at 7:00 p.m. 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 and handouts with our contact information for interested onlookers. When we return to Civic Park, there will be refreshments for all and recognition for the graduates of our recent 65-hour training class for volunteers.

Your support in breaking the silence is critical to ending the cycle of domestic violence. Together we build a world without violence.


Vicki Thompson

Director of Domestic Violence Services

World Suicide Prevention Day: The Connection Between Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Homelessness, and Suicide

 On September 10, 2016 we observe World Suicide Prevention Day to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. If you are wondering what domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness have to do with suicide, the statistics below might surprise you.

Domestic Violence and Suicide

  • Domestic violence is a factor in up to one-quarter of female suicide attempts (1).
  • Fifty percent of survivors of intimate partner violence who attempt suicide undertake subsequent attempts (1).
  • Survivors are twice as likely to attempt suicide multiple times (2).
  • Survivors are 12 times more likely that the general population to die by suicide (3).
  • More survivors of domestic violence die by suicide than by their abuser (3).
  • Children exposed to domestic violence are two to five times more likely to engage in suicidal behaviors (3).

Sexual Violence and Suicide

  • The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence (5).
  • About thirty-three percent of rape survivors have suicidal thought (5).
  • About thirteen percent of rape survivors will attempt suicide (5).
  • Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape (5).

Homelessness and Suicide

In a study conducted to determine the prevalence of suicidality among the homeless:

  • Sixty-one percent of the study sample reported suicidal ideation (6).
  • Thirty-four percent had attempted suicide (6).
  • Fifty-six percent of the men reported prior suicidal ideation (6).
  • Seventy-eight percent of the women reported prior suicidal ideation (6).
  • Twenty-eight percent of the men had attempted suicide (6). 


Suicide Prevention

A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the United States (7).  Many of those individuals are affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness. While the statistics presented may surprise you, they are believed to be much higher than reported. Many of these figures may be greatly underreported, as many that share these difficult experiences do not ever disclose it to parties that collect data.

The stigma that surrounds domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, and suicide prevents many from seeking or receiving the support they need. Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.  At Tri-Valley Haven we seek to support individuals affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness to empower them to improve their well-being and personal safety while breaking the cycle that contributes to suicidal thoughts. We also believe in aiding in the prevention of these experiences through education and advocacy. It is important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to address suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts trained crisis intervention counselors are available to receive crisis calls and give supportive counseling 24 hours a day, every day at the Alameda County 24-Hour Crisis Line 1-800-309-2131. Translation is available in more than 140 languages. Teletype (TDD) services for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals is also available. You do not have to be in Alameda County to use this crisis line. 


  1. Female Suicide and Domestic Violence – Criminal Justice – IresearchNet. (2015). Retrieved from http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/domestic-violence/female-suicide/
  1. Clay, R. A. (2014). Suicide and intimate partner violence. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/11/suicide-violence.aspx
  1. Dube, S. R., Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Chapman, D. P., Williamson, D. F., & Giles, W. H. (2001). Childhood abuse, household dysfunction, and the risk of attempted suicide throughout the life span: findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Jama, 286(24), 3089-3096.
  1. (2016). Domestic Violence Survivors at Higher Risk for Suicide. Retrieved from https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/domestic-violence-survivors-at-higher-risk-for-suicide#.V9SPCJMrI1i
  1. Kilpatrick, D., Edumuds, C.,  Seymour, A. (1992) Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA: National Victim Center and Medical University of South Carolina.
  1. Eynan, R., Langley, J., Tolomiczenko, G., Rhodes, A. E., Links, P., Wasylenki, D., & Goering, P. (2002). The association between homelessness and suicidal ideation and behaviors: Results of a cross‐sectional survey. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 32(4), 418-427.
  2. Suicide Statistics – Domestic Violence and Abuse Awareness project. (2012). Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/dvaaproject/statistics/ss


Adriana is a Bilingual Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about upcoming events or services, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

Tri-Valley Haven Raises Awareness During SAAM!

617-MThis April marks the 15th Anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)! Tri Valley Haven has many opportunities to get involved and help prevent violence this month and all throughout the year!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is about raising awareness about sexual violence in communities across the world, while providing tools and resources on how to prevent sexual violence. With nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States experiencing rape or attempted rape, now is the time to use our voices to stop the violence (1).

 Sexual assault is a public health issue that affects women, men, children, families, and communities.  Many survivors of sexual assault experience various effects as a result of their assault. Short term effects may include guilt, shame, fear, shock, and feelings of isolation. Long term effects may include long-term health risks such as PTSD, depression, eating disorders, possible STIs and pregnancy (2). However healing is possible when survivors have support!

At the Haven, we work hard to support survivors in every way possible. While we work to prevent sexual assault and create awareness in our community, we also provide counseling services, support groups, advocacy during hospital visits or police interviews, and a 24/7 crisis line (1-800-884-8119) for support at any hour of the day.12670680_1302620933099545_5394337262680266702_n

Together we can end sexual assault. If you are interested in getting involved and being a part of the solution, here is a list of SAAM events offered or collaborated on by Tri-Valley Haven.

We hope you’ll join us in striving to create safe, respectful, thoughtful, violence-free communities!

Tri-Valley Haven SAAM Community Events:

For more information, please call (925) 449-5845 or visit our website: www.trivalleyhaven.org


Amanda is a Bilingual Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about upcoming events or services, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org


1. Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding,M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Stevens,  M. R. (2011). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 summary  report. Retrieved from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:    http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf]
2. NSVRC, 2016. Sexual Assault Awareness Month. National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Retrieved  from http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/saam_one-pager.pdf

Changing the Culture: How Do We Prevent Dating Violence and Sexual Assault?

HLogo 302x270ow do we prevent dating violence and sexual assault?

While there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, Tri-Valley Haven offers a dedicated Prevention Education Program for teens. We hope that by educating local youth about dating violence prevention, we can prevent domestic violence in future generations.

As the lead Preventionist, I visit local schools with a dedicated team of volunteers to educate teens about healthy relationships, dating abuse and bullying prevention, and bystander intervention  year-round. We offer classroom presentations, lunchtime school events,  parent workshops and staff training through the program.

In our classroom presentations, we help students focus on healthy relationships, personal boundaries, assertive communication and safe and effective bystander intervention strategies. We approach all of these topics in age-appropriate way and tailor each presentation to fit the school because know each school community is unique.

How can you support our prevention efforts?

  • Request a presentation. If you work with a group of teens, consider scheduling a presentation for your club, after-school program, religious youth group or community group! Contact our Preventionists at (925) 667-2727 or visit www.trivalleyhaven.org
  • Donate to our Prevention Education Program. We currently provide presentations to local Tri-Valley area high schools and Livermore middle schools. Next year we hope to expand our program to include all Tri-Valley area middle schools. You can make this possible by donating to our prevention efforts.

Tri-Valley Haven’s heart pledges at Dublin High School last year.

3a92488In addition to providing advocacy for survivors of sexual assault, Jessie is the lead Preventionist for our Prevention Education Program at Tri-Valley Haven. Learn more about our teen presentations our Teen page on our website.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

partners1-00614Adriana is a Bilingual Sexual Assault Advocate (English/Spanish) at Tri-Valley Haven. Along with providing services to Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault, she is working to increase and improve Tri-Valley Haven’s services for survivors of human trafficking.

This year, Tri-Valley Haven is increasing efforts to provide support and advocacy services to victims of human sex trafficking. I was hired as a sexual assault advocate that will lead outreach and services for victims of human sex trafficking.

Preparation for our advocacy for victims began last year, through the joining of the H.E.A.T. (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Watch Task Force meetings where  local service providers, law enforcement officials, and district attorneys collaborate to strategize the manner in which the human trafficking rates in Alameda County can be reduced. I have also begun bringing more awareness to the issue through discussions with individuals with whom I interact with daily at work, school, and among friends. These interactions have shed light on a major problem with the manner in which human sex trafficking is perceived: There is a lot of unfamiliarity regarding its prevalence and who victims are.

H.E.A.T. Watch defines human sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion.”

According to UNICEF, every 2 minutes, a child is being groomed for sexual exploitation. Polaris reports that every year, at least 100,000 children are prostituted in the US. Globally, it is estimated that there are 4.5 million individuals in forced sexual exploitation, according to statistics from the International Labor Organization in 2012. A study conducted by the Urban Institute in 2007 demonstrated that there are cities in the United States, such as Denver, that have an underground sex economy worth an estimated $290 million. These statistics are believed to be greatly underreported, as not all victims come forward to report the crime they have been subjected to and there are underground sex traffickers that were not a part of the study.

Super_Bowl_50_logoAlameda County is a thriving center for the sexual trafficking market, at is the center point to a triangle between San Francisco and Contra Costa Counties. In 2015, 80% of all reported human trafficking cases in California came from the Bay Area.  Alameda County will also be hosting one of the largest events for human trafficking, the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a prime event for sex trafficking, as victims can be run in and out of the event with little notice, due to the large amount of individuals focusing on the game. Individuals are not only forced to work in the sex industry at this game, this is also a place where many are abducted and forced into the industry.

Trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers look for individuals they perceive as vulnerable- maybe they are illegal residents, economically unstable, non-English speakers, mentally unstable, or too young to fight back (among an endless list of reasons). These individuals are abducted or coerced into the industry. They are made to believe that they deserve to be in these circumstances, that the police are out to get them and they should not cooperate with them because they will be the ones arrested or jailed, that they have no other resources, or that they will never have a quality of life better than what they are experiencing.

Tri-Valley Haven and the  H.E.A.T. Watch Task Force aim to reduce accounts of trafficking at the Super Bowl and overall in Alameda County. Tri-Valley Haven’s crisis line (1-800-884-8119) can be contacted for resources to aid a victim of sex trafficking, our shelters have housed victims previously and can continue to if there are available spaces, our legal advocates can help in the process of acquiring a visas available to non-resident victims of crimes, and our counselors are ready to provide psychological support as well. We can also provide services in languages other than English.

You do not have to be a part of a task force or agency to help victims of sex trafficking. But how can you help without putting yourself at risk? Know the signs, report locations and individuals you believe to be involved with sex trafficking, and spread accurate knowledge of the issue as to educate others to do the same. You can help save lives.

To learn the signs of human trafficking, follow this link: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/blue-campaign/bc-inf-ht101-blue-campaign-human-trafficking-101.pdf

If you suspect somone is being trafficked or an individual is a trafficker, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline  at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to: BeFree (233733).

P4PArtwork2014 WinnerFor more information about our services for survivors of human sex trafficking, please call 925.449.5845 or visit www.trivalleyhaven.org

Thank You For Always Supporting Us

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” – Goran Persson

Thanks to your support, look at what Tri-Valley Haven achieved in a year!

  • Over 4,000 calls received through our 24-hour crisis line
  • 344 Clients received safe shelter through our Domestic Violence and Homeless shelters
  • 181 Children received safe shelter through our Domestic Violence and Homeless shelters
  • 4,455 Local Residents in Economic Need assisted at our Food Pantry
  • 227 Survivors of Sexual Assault served through our Rape Crisis Center
  • 3,979 Tri-Valley Students & Community Members received prevention education classes to prevent dating abuse, sexual assault, bullying and more!
  • 4,094 Local Residents in Economic Need signed up for food and gifts through our Holiday Program for Thanksgiving and December Holidays

Clothesline Project at Tri-Valley Haven

But New Year’s Day is more than just a time of looking backward on the previous year.  It’s also about taking the lessons learned from that year and applying them to the year that is coming toward us as fast and surely as the sunrise itself.  It’s about revisiting our core values and saying, “This is who we are. This is who we want to be. And this is what we commit to in the days and weeks and months to come.”

We serve more than the numbers in our emails or blog posts.  Each number is a man, a woman, a child.  Each number is a person who is struggling forward, emerging from pain, dealing with their past, looking toward a brighter future.  Our work here at Tri-Valley Haven is simply this: to be there to support, encourage and provide aid so that each person who comes to us is better able to heal; better able to hope; better able to move forward into their new year in safety and strength.

Thanks to your generosity, Tri-Valley Haven can help women, children and families build a new life, free from violence!" A New Life" was created at the therapeutic art group in our domestic violence shelter!

We could not have fulfilled our work at the Haven last year without your help.  We could not have fulfilled it all these years stretching into our past without the help of people like you.  And we cannot do this work in the year to come without you standing by our side.

Thank you.  Every single one of you.  We hope you had a safe, loving, hopeful and prosperous New Year.

Welcome, 2016!

Geographical Isolation and Serving Diverse Populations – Taking on the Challenge

cropped-map-2Tri-Valley Haven is located in Eastern Alameda County, one of the wealthiest and least diverse areas of the county. Geographically isolated from the rest of the county by the Dublin Grade, our shelter population is vastly more diverse than the area in which we are located. Because of this isolation, shelter residents often tell us they feel especially safe from their abusers in the Tri-Valley.

It is an ongoing struggle for us to attract and retain a diverse shelter staff at a nonprofit salary rate that does not support someone who is living alone or a single parent in our immediate service area. Most of our new staff members live out of the area, either “over the hill” in less expensive parts of Alameda County, in the Brentwood/Antioch area or in Stockton. Staff turnover is more frequent than we would like, most often because these staff members find employment closer to home.

obj40-1Despite these challenges, we are pleased that we have been able to increase the diversity of our staff to try to better reflect the population we serve. When we have a job opening, we advertise widely, and share the job listing with statewide coalitions such as CPEDV and CalCASA in order to reach all of our sister organizations.

We have also greatly benefitted from participation in learning collaboratives such as the Fostering Cultural Competency project, funded by Blue Shield. Through this project, we made connections with other organizations outside of our service area that have expertise in working with specific Asian populations who shared information with us and remain a source of support that we can access when working with a client from a culture we are unfamiliar with. We also had the opportunity to learn about more resources in our own community when each agency in the project convened a panel discussion of representatives from local Asian communities to discuss how domestic violence is viewed and addressed within these communities.1

We look forward to participating in the Next Generation project in which we will share  our experiences with other agencies, and further develop our support system .

Vicki Thompson

Director of Domestic Violence Services

Tri-Valley Haven

Advocate Spotlight: Advocacy & Me

Gunjan is a Sexual Assault Advocate with Tri-Valley HavenGunjan volunteers as Sexual Assault Advocate at Tri-Valley Haven. As a volunteer, she meets with survivors of sexual assault to support them through the reporting process and provide them with resources.

Let me start by saying that working with survivors has been the most gratifying experience of my life. I have had quite a tough life myself and when I sought spiritual guidance, my Guru, my teacher, just told me one thing: Do selfless service – help somebody, anybody. And that’s when I found this amazing place called the “Tri-Valley Haven.”

After going through six months of rigorous training, I was still shaking on my first call at Highland Hospital in Oakland. I didn’t have a clue about my own course of action. I took a deep breath, went inside and every moment after that was just…. me being human. When I am with a survivor, their story becomes mine and their tears come rolling down my own eyes. But in return, my strength becomes their strength to come out of the trauma and take life with full stride, yet again.

Being an advocate has completely transformed me as a person. We all live sheltered lives and make our own small world, the focus of everything. As a sexual assault advocate, I stepped out of my shell and met some wonderful people, whom we refer to as “the survivors”. They are people like us, but life has put them in devastating situations and the least we can do is be there for them. Make them realize their own strength, which has been shadowed by some dark moments for a brief period in their lives.

I believe my job as an advocate is to be there for the Survivor unconditionally, help them revive their emotional strength, make them feel like they are in control and see them smile at the end of it all.

Sexual Assault Advocates must be at least 21 years old and complete a 65-hour training course at Tri-Valley Haven before volunteering. To learn about our advocacy services or other volunteer opportunities, visit our website www.trivalleyhaven.org

Put On Your Running Shoes – Tri-Valley Haven’s Pace For Peace is this Saturday!

Tri-Valley Haven's Pace For Peace is this weekend!Before the sun rises, Tri-Valley Haven’s dedicated staff and volunteers will arrive at our Community Building to set up for our annual Pace For Peace – 5K/10K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 3. We will arrange registration tables, put out coffee, mix Gatorade, set up the water tables and balloon arch and much more while we wait for over 200 runners and walkers to arrive.

Pace For Peace has been an annual event at Tri-Valley Haven for over a decade. Runners, walkers, and supporters gather to raise awareness about domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness and hunger. It is truly inspiring to see so many people from our local community – and many people from other areas – come out to support Tri-Valley Haven.

Proceeds go directly Tri-Valley Haven’s life-saving services. Last year, we raised over $10,000 and this year we are hoping to raise even more!Saturday is your chance to win a brand new Apple Watch!

New this year we will have Chip Timing, Finisher Medals, Performance T-Shirts, a Spirited 5K Water Table, Great Raffle Prizes and more!  The Haven is also offering a special drawing for participants to win a brand new Apple Watch. Only 200 tickets will be available for a chance to win an Apple Watch –  42mm 7000 Series Space Grey with black sport band. Tickets will be available at packet pick-up on Thursday, so we are encouraging participants who are interested to register early online. If any tickets remain, we will have them on race day in case you missed out!

Join us on Saturday, October 3 for a beautiful 5K/10K run/walk through Livermore’s vineyards. The race starts and finishes at Tri-Valley Haven Community Building, 3663 Pacific Avenue, Livermore. The 10K starts at 8:00 am and the 5K starts at 8:05 am.

Tri-Valley Haven’s Pace For Peace has something for everyone, whether you are a serious runner or just out for a leisurely walk with friends and family supporting a good cause!  You can even bring your dog!

Interested in participating this year? Register online by clicking this link or register at the event on race-day (just remember to get there a early!). You can also fundraise online to support Tri-Valley Haven by clicking this link.

We hope to see you on Saturday!


Thank you, Kaiser!Thank you, Goza Gear!Thank you, A-1! Thank you, Betty Taylor! Thank you, Contreras Chiropractic! Thank you, EPIC Insurance!   Thank you, UNCLE Credit Union!  Thank you, Paramedics Plus! Thank you, Stop-N-Wash!Thank you, Page Mill Winery!Thank you, Road ID!  Thank you, Panama Red!Thank you, First Street Alehouse!

Together we build a world without violence!

%d bloggers like this: