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    Jessie - Sexual Assault Advocate

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

Being Heard: Tri-Valley Haven’s Domestic Violence Support Group

A Source of Strength and Courage - Collage and mixed media.

A Source of Strength and Courage  – Collage and mixed media.

Have you or a loved one experienced domestic violence or dating abuse? Tri-Valley Haven hosts a support group on Friday afternoons in Pleasanton for survivors of domestic violence who have experienced emotional, physical, sexual and/or financial abuse, as well as controlling and unhealthy relationships.

Through the 8-week group, the group participants learn from each other’s experiences and grow in their independence and belief in their own abilities. They identify the various forms of abusive relationships and give examples of how they have experienced these situations. They learn that they are not “crazy” and that “abuse is not my fault.” These women learn about healthy boundaries, communication, coping skills and self-esteem. Mainly, they are given the freedom and space to voice their thoughts and opinions, free from judgment or blame, and to have their experiences validated by others who “get it”.

Many of the survivors express gratitude at having the time and space for people in similar situations to listen to them and to understand – sometimes for the first time in their lives. Feeling heard and understood, as well as empowered, are the powerful tools that these women offer to each other through this group. Tri-Valley Haven is pleased to give these women the space to enhance and heal each others’ lives.

Along with support groups, Tri-Valley Haven also offers individual and family counseling to survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, please call Tri-Valley Haven Community Building at (925) 449-5845.


P4PArtwork2014 WinnerLiz is a counselor at Tri-Valley Haven. She facilitates a weekly Domestic Violence Support Group. For more information about our support groups or individual counseling services, please call 925.449.5845 or visit www.trivalleyhaven.org

An Oldie… But Not a Goodie… How an Old, Old Law Turned Into an Outrageous Miscarriage of Justice

California Law... FAIL.

California Law… FAIL.

California Court Declares That It’s Not Rape If The Unconscious Women You Trick Into Sleeping With You Isn’t Married

Wow… what?

For way more information on this crazy case than I need to rewrite into this blog post, check out a few of the links included here:

If you want your story from USA Today, click here.  If you want to hear from a more local source, you can go to the LA Weekly blogs.  And if you want one with a lot of emotional outrage (which I think is well-placed in this instance), you can check out Jezebel.com.

Basically, it comes down to this:  An LA-based state appeals court recently overturned a the conviction of a man who raped a woman in her sleep. The victim, who at first thought the man was her boyfriend, tried to stop him once she regain

ed consciousness enough to realize he was an imposter.  However, because the woman and her boyfriend are not a married couple, her rapist will walk away without penalty. The court said that its decision is based on an 1872 California law stating that tricking a victim into sex by impersonation counts as rape only if the victim is married.

Yowza!  REALLY?  Even the court sounded kind of embarrassed about it in their statement.

There are some ridiculous old laws on the California books.  For instance, California law prohibits a woman from driving in a housecoat.  In Glendale, California, you can only show horror movies on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays.  And in Hollywood, it is illegal to drive more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at one time.  (Darn, there goes my plans for the weekend!)  But most of these laws don’t come into play, are basically disregarded, and don’t really hurt anybody except maybe, you know, some frustrated shepherd with a huge flock of sheep and the desire for them all to see Hollywood.

This law, however, has gotta go.

To that end, I am including a link to a petition on SignOn.org to the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, which says:

Repeal the California law stating that tricking a victim into sex by impersonation counts as rape only if the victim is married, and apply it to all Californians.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Because seriously… what the heck?

Stay In Touch!

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Just a quick little bloglet here about OTHER ways you can keep in touch with my “parent” organization, the Tri-Valley Haven.  We’re based in Livermore, California and we are a crisis line, domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, family homeless shelter and food pantry.  Whew.  That’s a lot of services for one little group!  We offer all those things, plus group and one-on-one counseling, advocacy services for sexual assault survivors (this means we will accompany you to the hospital, the police station, court, etc. during the process of reporting a rape), a restraining order clinic, and more.

This blog is really only ONE aspect of what we do–the blog is concentrating on the concept of Bystander Intervention–what we can do as just day-to-day people, out there living our lives in the world.  How can we help if we see violence or abuse?  Can we step in safely?  How do we do that?  Can we do something indirect to help when or if direct is dangerous?  Can we get other people in our lives thinking and talking about these issues?  Can we help to build a web of concerned and caring people?

Hey, I think it’s a worthy goal… what about you?

But it’s just a part of all we do.  SO… if you want to stay in touch with other aspects of Tri-Valley Haven, I’m gonna toss a few links up here on this post.  🙂

For our main website, go to www.trivalleyhaven.org – This lists a lot more information about our services and who we are, as well as upcoming events.

For our Facebook Page, go to https://www.facebook.com/trivalleyhaven – This is more informal than our website and more active as well, listing thank-yous and news stories and all sorts of stuff to keep you connected.

We also have an e-newsletter.  Drop me a comment here if you want to be signed up and I’m happy to do so!

And, of course… there is this blog.

So without further ado… on with the blogging!

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