➜ The Latest: California budget includes $5 million in funding to prevent sexual and domestic violence! Read our statement.
The costs of sexual and domestic violence are astronomical. Sexual violence costs the state of California $140 billion, and the lifetime economic burden of domestic violence nation-wide is $3.6 trillion. The trauma and lost opportunities are immeasurable. It’s time for a new vision of California—one that prioritizes prevention to address root causes of violence. #PreventionWorks by teaching safe and healthy relationship skills much earlier in life, improving school climate and safety, engaging boys and men in gender equity, and promoting racial justice with culturally-responsive solutions.
I started volunteering at Jenesse Center six years ago, at the M. Sue Frazier Summer Camp, Jenesse’s signature summer program for the children that reside in their shelter program. I had the fortune of working with children of all ages. I immediately noticed that all of the children were innocent in this process and were just trying to navigate their normal.
At a previous non-profit, I worked in a case management program that focused on youth ages 18-19. All of the options we had to offer were post-care and intervention focused, meaning it was all after they faced abuse or violence in their relationships. I will always remember them saying that prevention was what they wish they had.
I began prevention work at Fresno’s Juvenile Justice Campus as a counseling volunteer, where we helped incarcerated youth finish high school through tutoring and mentoring and find jobs. It was there that I was trained on facilitating a curriculum called Safe Dates—and found my passion for prevention.
During my interview to work at the Center for Community Solutions (CCS), my to-be-supervisor shared that they worked with youth in detention and asked if that was something I’d be interested in doing if I was hired on. At first, it felt somewhat daunting to think that I’d be going into a juvenile hall. I don’t think I held negative views of youth in detention, but I also was unsure of what to expect from them. It ultimately sold me on the position.