Orange County-based Agencies Give Survivors of Domestic Violence a Voice During Impactful Multimedia Exhibit in February - Human Options

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Community Service Programs, Human Options, Laura’s House, Orange County Family Justice Center, A Window Between Worlds and Women’s Transitional Living Center will host VOICES, a Compelling Exhibit Featuring Women Speaking About Their Experiences with Domestic Violence

WHAT: VOICES, a multimedia installation designed to immerse exhibit visitors into the world of domestic violence survivors in order to eradicate the silence surrounding this serious issue, will make its California debut Feb. 11 to Feb. 20. Orange County domestic violence agencies including Community Service Programs (CSP), a nonprofit organization committed to providing high-quality counseling and support services to struggling Orange County children and families at their greatest time of need, Human Options, Laura’s House, Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation, A Window Between Worlds and Women’s Transitional Living Center are coming together to host VOICES, which was developed by filmmaker and artist Cat Del Buono.

Sponsored by the Randy Higbee Gallery, Orange County Community Foundation and Orange County United Way, this event will aim to spread community-wide awareness on the extent and impact of domestic violence including verbal and psychological abuse, intimate partner violence, date abuse and elder abuse. The exhibit will also showcase community programs that are working to educate and prevent violence and abuse.

Del Buono filmed survivors and is sharing their personal stories in cities across the United States, including in Miami, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. A row of 26 small monitors displays only the mouths of each woman and creates a symphony of unrecognizable words from afar. Not until viewers come closer to focus on an individual screen to hear an anonymous subject’s story do they realize the installation topic. Del Buono intended the necessity of this movement on the part of viewers to serve as a metaphor: Only when one comes close do they learn of individuals’ traumatic experiences in their own words.

WHERE: Randy Higbee Gallery, 102 Kalmus Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Higbee is donating the use of his gallery to support domestic violence awareness efforts in Orange County.

WHEN: The invitation-only opening night reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 and includes a panel discussion about domestic violence. Orange County United Way President and Chief Executive Officer Max Gardner will moderate the panel, which includes Del Buono; Vivian Clecak, founder of Human Options; an Orange County resident with a family member affected; and Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada. Media RSVP is required.

The free exhibit will be open to the public Feb. 11-20. The gallery is open between 9 a.m. on 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

WHY: VOICES is intended to remind audiences that real human beings are behind the shocking statistics about domestic violence, and to break down the stigmas surrounding the issue. Domestic violence is not just a family issue; it is a society issue. The organizations hosting the discussion panel and exhibition are convening to showcase Orange County-based community programs working to educate and prevent violence and abuse. As a group, the goal is to collaborate and bring this unique event to Orange County to continue to raise awareness about domestic violence and the resources available to assist survivors.

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PHOTO/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:
• Interview with the artist, Cat Del Buono
• Interviews with panelists and organizers who will share information about efforts underway to destigmatize domestic violence in Orange County as well as the availability of services for individuals and families affected by abuse; including Margaret R. Bayston, CEO of Laura’s House; Ronnetta Johnson, executive director of Community Service Programs; Vivian Clecak, founder and retiring CEO of Human Options; Maricela Rios-Faust, associate executive director/chief operations officer of Human Options; Gigi Tsontos, executive director of Women’s Transitional Living Center.
• Interviews with a local survivor
• Visuals of the gallery installation, including two walls covered by painted hearts and the words, “What love is… .” Attendees will be encouraged to write responses to complete this statement; installation also will include artwork created by struggling youth from several of the nonprofits involved
• Visuals of the exhibit, panel discussion, wine and hors d’oeuvres reception, and attendees coming together to halt the domestic violence epidemic in Orange County and eradicate the silence surrounding the issue.

Media Contact
Emilie Perkins
Reveille, Inc.
714.747.5854
Emilie@reveilleinc.com

About Community Service Programs
Community Service Programs (CSP) is a nonprofit agency committed to serving children, adults and families living in Orange County who are involved with or at risk of involvement with the justice system. CSP’s model programs assist over 111,000 community members annually, including abused children, struggling families, acting out adolescents, victims of crime, and those in need of mediation services. For more information on CSP and its programs, visit cspinc.org.

About Women’s Transitional Living Center
With a vision of ending the cycle of violence and exploitation, Women’s Transitional Living Center’s (WTLC) mission is to help individuals and families escape the depths of domestic violence and exploitation. To do so, WTLC provides the tools and resources to build self-esteem and empower people for independent living. WTLC is the oldest domestic violence shelter in Orange County, and is celebrating 40 years of service in 2016. For more information, visit wtlc.org.

About A Window Between Worlds
A Window Between Worlds is a nonprofit using art as a healing tool to empower and transform individuals and communities impacted by violence and trauma. We envision a world where safety, healing and hope replace violence, silence and shame; where art is a catalyst to release trauma, build resilience and ignite social change to end domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and intimate partner violence. For more information, visit www.awbw.org.

About Human Options
Human Options provides safe haven and life changing programs to help abused women, their children and families rebuild their lives, while working with the community to break the cycle of domestic violence. Human Options provides a full continuum of services to stop the violence – from a 24-hour hotline, emergency and transitional living programs, education and prevention presentations and trainings in the community, and low/no cost services including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s therapies, and empowerment classes, offered in six locations in the county. Individuals seeking help can call 877-854-3594. For further information about Human Options, call 949.737.5242, ext. 211 or visit www.humanoptions.org.

About Laura’s House
The mission of Laura’s House is to change the social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space to empower individuals and families affected by abuse. For more than 20 years, Laura’s House has served those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence. Over the past two decades, Laura’s House has provided shelter and support services to more than 4,000 battered women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to nearly 50,000 people. Connect with Laura’s House on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation
The Orange County Family Justice Center (OCFJC) is a collaborative of 16 nonprofits and government agencies that serve victims of child abuse, domestic violence, elder adult abuse and sexual assault in Orange County. The OCFJC facilitates access to the services these victims need to protect themselves and their families from further violence. An OCFJC partner, the Orange County Family Justice Center Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide direct victim assistance, empowerment and prevention resources. The OCFJC Foundation strives to transform victims into survivors and break the cycle of violence.

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