Looking back on 2019, several words come to mind: “Prevent,” “Protect,” “Empower.” The change made possible through the collective efforts of our supporters, donors, board, partners and staff was evident. We came together as a community to align our efforts around a future in which every person and family in Orange County experiences safe, healthy relationships.
You inspire us… with your support we changed the conversation around relationship violence; focusing on prevention and healing while deepening awareness about an issue that threatens everyone in Orange County. This shift in narrative is an exciting one, and was best illustrated in an interview that took place earlier last year.
Maricela was invited to join a panel on Fox Sports 1 to discuss an incident in which a professional athlete was caught on tape assaulting a woman after she allegedly called him a name. The difference in the conversation was evident: The old stereotypes of victim and perpetrator blaming were gone. Instead, we engaged in a dialogue to create deeper understanding and awareness from a national platform. A notable shift occurred when one of the hosts asked, “what can we do as men?” That’s the key. When we are empowered to have a conversation, we say “we’re in this together,” and that’s when real transformation is possible on multiple levels. In fact, we are seeing amazing outcomes from it.
To that end, Human Options continues to widen our circle of support and collaboration; working with homeless solutions providers, law enforcement, human resources professionals and many more. The real beauty of these partnerships? Not only are we increasing our impact, Human Options is learning and growing in the process. Together, we are expanding our impact for the benefit of victims and survivors.
You’ll see the difference you are making on the following pages: How you are generating vivid awareness and understanding of relationship violence, and how that awareness can change a life forever. You, along with our community partners, volunteers and staff, are igniting change in Orange County. You are showing victims they are worth so much more.
Thank you for making 2019 such an exciting year of progress. We look forward to working with you to transform Orange County, so every person and every family can live free from fear.
Maricela Rios-Faust, MSW, LCSW, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer