HO Logo Tagline

Social change

Human Options has impacted the lives of more than 500,000 people affected by relationship violence.


In 1981, four women founded Human Options and gave life to a vision focused on ensuring people could feel safe in their own home. Forty years later, the organization is at the forefront of a collective county-wide response to those threatened by abuse in Orange County.


We ignite social change by educating Orange County to recognize relationship violence as an issue that threatens everyone, advocating for those affected by abuse, extending a safe place for victims, and empowering survivors on their journey of healing.


We are committed to a future in which every person and family in Orange County experiences safe, healthy relationships and lives free of fear.


Diversity: We embrace different perspectives and the lived experiences of others.

Respect: We recognize dignity as a basic human right.

Curiosity: We cultivate an appetite for knowledge and understanding.

Ingenuity: We actively work to create original and inventive solutions to further our mission.

Individuality: We call on the unique gifts of others for igniting social change.

Department of Justice Accredited
Representative Services

Human Options is a Recognized Agency through the Department of Justice. Members of the Human Options Legal Advocacy Team are partially accredited through the same program, and have a limited capacity to provide direct representation around immigration matters such as U-Visa and VAWA applications. Please visit https://www.justice.gov/eoir/recognition-and-accreditation-program for more information about this program.

Healing is at the heart of what we do. It takes courage, perseverance, and a strong support system. We are humbled to share these lived experiences as told by survivors to empower others on their journey. There is no one that knows this better than survivors – and that is why we share their empowering stories.

Corporate Partners and Sponsorships

Kaiser Permanente logo
Hoag logo
Latham & Warkins LLP
Capital Group Logo
Edwards Lifesciences logo
Bank of America Logo


Executive Leadership

Maricela Rios headshot

Maricela Rios-Faust, MSW, LCSW,
Chief Executive Officer – Human Options

As Chief Executive Officer, Maricela Rios-Faust provides vital leadership, support and vision to the continued growth and success of Human Options. Since 2006, she has capitalized on her 30-year experience working with vulnerable populations and been a key driver in Human Options becoming one of the most comprehensive domestic violence service providers in Orange County. Her commitment comes from a desire to raise her daughter in a world where relationship violence is not tolerated. Recognized as a leader in the field and non-profit sector, Maricela currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Family Violence Appellate Project, OneOC and Orange County’s Continuum of Care Governing Board. She co-chairs the Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team, serves on the Orange County Women’s Health Project Advisory Board and is a member of OneOC’s Board Diversity Task Force. Maricela is a member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. In 2021, she was named one of Orange County’s Most Influential for her leadership on increasing awareness of impacts of the pandemic on domestic violence survivors.

Executive Leadership

Sara Behmerwohld headshot

Sara Behmerwohld,
Esq., Chief Operations Officer

As Chief Operations Officer, Sara Behmerwohld provides leadership, oversight, and management of Human Options continuum of integrated programs and services. Since 2013, she has capitalized on her experience working with survivors of relationship violence to help establish Human Options as the most comprehensive domestic violence service provider in Orange County. Her passion for the work stems from a lifelong commitment to ending gender-based violence, beginning with a volunteer position at an Orange County-based domestic violence shelter at age 14. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a member of the California Bar. She served as the Chairperson for the Legal Issues Subcommittee of the Orange County Family Violence Council and is an alumnus of the Women’s Foundation of California Solis Policy Institute and the HOME (Housing Opportunities Mean Everything) cohort, a group comprised of leadership from domestic violence organizations across California working to eradicate women’s homelessness. She is also a member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. Sara’s strengths are Relator
Command, Self-Assurance, Intellection, Input.

Executive Leadership

Stirling headshot

Stirling Hunter,
Finance Director

Stirling Hunter is the Finance Director at Human Options. He oversees the overall financial health of the organization and performs the accounting, banking, grant invoicing, and financial reporting for the organization. He joined Human Options, and the non-profit world, in late 2019. His prior experience included many years in aerospace program finance management where he managed program budgets, schedules, cost accounting, proposals and contracts. He also has 9 years’ experience as the financial officer for a commercial real estate company. Stirling is a graduate of USC and enjoys motorcycles, surfing, music, and spending time with his wife and grandkids.

Executive Leadership

Victoria Radcliffe headshot

Lisa Gestoso,
Human Resources Business Partner

As the Human Resources Business Partner with Human Options, Lisa Gestoso oversees recruiting, organizational development, policy implementation, and employment law compliance. She joined Human Options, and the non-profit sector, in 2021. Lisa received her B.Sc. in Public Health from the University of California, Irvine and has over 10 years of experience in training and development. In her free time, Lisa enjoys trying new experiences, spending time, and creating memories with her daughter, husband, friends, and family. Lisa’s strengths are Analytical, Deliberative, Relator, Restorative, and Achiever.

Executive Leadership

Victoria Radcliffe

Victoria Radcliffe,
Executive Administrator

As Executive Administrator, Victoria assists the CEO, Board Of Directors, COO, Sr. Executives, Management and Staff in providing executive support services, as well as, managing the business office operations alongside her executive partners. Victoria has over 27 years of experience in administrative assistance and office management. Her eclectic background, which helps her be a service to others, includes underwater navigation and sonar work, due diligence work in corporate appraisal, project specialist, and working in community services with local Orange County cities. All of these experiences have lead to the passion of helping others achieve their goals. Victoria earned her BA in Liberal Studies Western Civilization, Thematic Plan Non-Profit Management at California State University, Fullerton. In her free time, Victoria loves spending time with her Husband, learning about history (5th Generation Southern Californian), taking care of family, friends and neighbors, learning anything new and dreaming about travel one day. Whenever possible, she tries to enjoy beautiful Orange County nature walks and the ocean. Victoria’s strengths are: Developer, Arranger, Belief, Responsibility, Context.

Board Of Directors


Andrew Gray
Latham & Watkins, LLP

Susan L. Heller
Greenberg Traurig Global, LLP 
Vice President
Sabrina C. Callin,
Jason Weintraub
Jacuzzi Group Worldwide


Scott Allen
President (ret.)                                                                Passco Companies Development LLC

Diane Biagianti
Senior Vice President                                                    General Counsel, Glaukos Corporation

Dr. Liza Eshilian-Oates, MD
Regional Director, SCAL Family Violence
Prevention Program Kaiser Permanente

Joe Ferrentino
Newmeyer & Dillion

Katie Nuñez
Senior Vice President 
Corporate Marketing, Irvine Company

Clay Richardson
Co-Founder & Chief Excelerator
Digital Fast Forward

Kerri Summers
Sr. Litigation Paralegal
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo 

Kyle Anderson
Canada/Opex Lead Fortive-ASP                                                       

Celina Doka
Partner (ret.)

Robert Farzad
Managing Partner,
Farzad and Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, LLP


Amy Hytowitz
Vice President, Global Communications & Public Affairs Strategy, Edwards Lifesciences

Wendy Peterson 
General Counsel
Knobbe Martens

Linda Schilling
Attorney, Managing Partner
Schilling Law Group, PC

Senior Leadership


Arezoo Shahbazi Roa, MSW

[email protected]

Prevention & Community Education Director

Jacob Weiss, PHD

[email protected]

Innovation and Strategic Impact Director

Program Management

[email protected]

Sara Tienda, MSW
Community Based Services Manager

Young Lin, LCSW

Clinical Director

[email protected]

Mieka Bledsoe, MS, LMFT
Community Based Services Clinical                  Program Supervisor

[email protected]

Cynthia Barajas
Minnie St. Family Resource Center                   Program Supervisor 


Newport Mesa Family Resource Center           Program Supervisor

[email protected]

Hope Talieh, Esq.
Legal Advocacy Program Manager

[email protected]

Maria Tapia
Legal Advocacy Program Supervisor 

[email protected]

Aisha Khan
Residential Director

[email protected]

Selina Prawl
Case Management Supervisor

[email protected] Celeste Martinez
Hotline Supervisor

[email protected]

Residential Clinical Program Supervisor



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