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The Giving Marin Community Partnership, a major initiative of the business community and Marin Independent Journal, offers local nonprofit organizations assistance with marketing through sponsored ads in the paper and online along with exposure via social media platforms. At the end of 2018, Giving Marin gave back 15% of revenues generated through the program to Marin County nonprofit organizations. More than 130 organizations applied for the grants. Through a rigorous process, six organizations were chosen to receive $10,000 each.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP) was one of the recipients of the 2018 Giving Marin $10,000 grant. With these funds, the organization was able to continue its life-saving work to end domestic violence in Marin and beyond. With thousands of people coming to C4DP each year, it is hard to summarize all the ways it support individuals. Perhaps one story can tell it best.

Natalia (not her real name) lived what seemed a typical middle-class life in Marin. However, behind the closed doors, she endured a physically violent marriage.  As the intensity and frequency of this violence escalated, she didn’t know where and how to get help. Her husband threatened to take custody of the children if she left and beat her if she tried.  The police were called on multiple occasions, but out of fear of retaliation, Natalia declined help. Natalia decided to buy time to figure out how to safely leave with her children. Then one day, her husband was arrested, an Emergency Protective Order was issued, and she was referred to C4DP. With a courageous leap of faith, she took the step to find refuge in our emergency shelter.

Once there, she and her children received emotional support, encouragement, and basic necessities. Day by day, she grew more eager to participate in support groups as her self-confidence and determination for a better life blossomed. C4DP’s Legal Systems Advocacy Program assisted Natalia in obtaining a DVRO (Domestic Violence Restraining Order), accompanying her to meetings with the district attorney and court hearings, and providing guidance on her divorce, property settlement, child custody, and civil restraining orders. With an advocate by her side, she navigated the process confidently and obtained full custody of her children.

With a DVRO in place, Natalia moved into C4DP’s transitional housing program with her children. With stable, affordable housing, she began rebuilding her life. Alongside personal counseling and support groups, she took advantage of C4DP’s career center hub.  Additionally, she received help with budgeting, credit repair, childcare and went back to school to complete her training as a nurse. NataliA also joined C4DP’s In This Together therapy program for children who have witnessed domestic violence and their non-abusing parent. Together, the family healed their relationships. Eventually NataliA’s children no longer experienced outbursts at school. By the end of her 18-month stay, she secured affordable, permanent housing.

Today, Natalia and her children are thriving. She is only one profile of courage but represents the thousands the organization has helped over 42 years. Natalia’s and others’ desire to find freedom from violence continues to propel C4DP to catalyze the community effort to end domestic violence by working collaboratively with other organizations, systems and individuals. To learn more, visit  -Photo courtesy of Shutterstock




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