Domestic Violence Solutions
“It takes more than a village… it takes a community.” The theme of the Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) luncheon was Community and purple is their color. We were in the Loggia Room at the Santa Barbara Biltmore to celebrate what has been accomplished so that victims are visible – not invisible – and to raise money to help.
Event chair Virginia Benson Wigle welcomed the group. County of Santa Barbara district attorney Joyce Dudley was to be there, but couldn’t make it at the last minute, so State Senator Hannah–Beth Jackson filled in to honor the honoree Megan Rheinschild and the others from the Victim-Witness Assistance Program: Joan Airfield, Terry Lopez, Lourdes Negrete, and Samantha Zaragoza.
Board emeritus president Julie Capritto introduced executive director Jan Campbell with all good things to say about how many hundreds of miles she had traveled to be in touch with everyone and how inspiring she is. Jan shared, “I worried no one would come to the luncheon. You know people from Santa Barbara never go out when it rains.” But the house was full.
DVS has been serving Santa Barbara County for the past 41 years. The board president Maura Mitchell and the executive director Charles Anderson want us to know, “DVS answered over 4,900 calls to our 24-hour crisis and information lines, providing approximately 4,680 nights of safe and confidential shelter, responding to over 470 domestic violence calls from law enforcement and hospitals, delivering hundreds of counseling sessions and performing many other services to support our clients.”
In addition, DVS has expanded their Santa Maria shelter capacity from 28 to 60 at a time, because of increased demand. They can serve women, children, men, large families, and members of the LGBTE community. They have transformed second stage apartments in Santa Barbara by completely redecorating them and completed all deferred maintenance. They would be happy to have their loved ones stay.
The passion speaker at the luncheon was America Preciado. She brought tears to our eyes hearing her story of abuse and the effects it had on her two children. The ending is amazing. “I now have my own apartment, a car, and a job I love.” And her kids are safe. Victims are helped to get started all over again with their life.
CEO SBCC Foundation Geoff Green did the “ask” for funds. For information call the DVS office at 805.963.4458. For the 24-hour crisis line in Santa Barbara call 805.964.5245.