News Archives - Human Options

Why The New Gun Control Bill is Important to Victims of Domestic Violence

Why The New Gun Control Bill is Important to Victims of Domestic Violence By Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options and Domestic Violence Expert Earlier this year, the Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team (DVDRT) published the Domestic Fatality Review, an analysis of more than a decade of domestic violence fatalities in Orange County, Calif. In the 11-year study, guns were found to be the leading cause of death and used in 72% of fatalities. Orange County’s worst mass shooting was tied to domestic violence when Scott Dekraai killed eight people at a Seal Beach salon following a custody dispute with his ex-wife in 2011. Studies have shown that…

Depp vs. Heard – There is no real winner

The severed fingertip, the feces on the bed, the profanity-laced arguments—these were some of the key moments of explosive testimony that the 3.5 million viewers on various social media platforms heard worldwide during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial. The celebrity case quickly attracted millions and grew to one of the highest trending topics on the internet. Although the defamation case was centered around allegations of domestic violence by both parties, very little about the complex dynamics surrounding domestic violence was introduced for the jury and the public to consider. “It could begin with a slap, it could begin with a shove, it could begin with throwing a TV…

Meet Our Chief Operations Officer!

We are so excited to announce our new Chief Operations Officer, Sara Behmerwohld, Esq.! Sara has led the Legal Advocacy Services and Program at Human Options for the last 8 years and most recently has served in the role of interim Chief Program Officer. Sara’s passion for addressing domestic violence, her demonstrated strength in enhancing operational efficiencies and leading high impact programs will be of tremendous value in her new role! Sara is a member of the HOME Cohort, our statewide work on the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness and leads Human Options Criminal Justice Response partnership with the Santa Ana Police Department. Additionally, Sara is the Chair of…

Press Release: Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team Releases Decade-Long Study Highlighting Fatality Trends & Recommendations for Prevention & Intervention 

IRVINE, Calif., February 16, 2022 — The Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team (DVDRT), a multidisciplinary task force, released its first ever study that analyzed a decade of trends in domestic violence fatalities. The team reviewed county coroner case files from 2006 through 2017 and analyzed domestic violence-related homicide and homicide/suicide cases to develop recommendations for community prevention and intervention initiatives in reducing and eradicating domestic violence. The DVDRT is co-chaired by Maricela Rio-Faust, Chief Executive Officer of nonprofit Human Options, and Professor Jane Stoever, who directs the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic and the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence and includes multiple…

Human Options Fall Luncheon Event Raises Nearly $200,000

IRVINE, Calif., (October 14, 2021) – Human Options hosted its annual Fall Luncheon on October 14 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, and via live-stream, to help educate and raise awareness about relationship violence. The event, held during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, raised nearly $200,000 to support Human Options’ relationship violence programs, including a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling program, legal advocacy and community education. The event featured a conversation with journalist, author, and domestic violence advocate Rachel Louise Snyder, highlighting the theme of her book, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. Named a top 10 best book of 2019 by…

Helping Victims of Relationship Violence Navigate the Legal System

Our legal system is complex, and without adequate resources and services, navigating the legal system is even harder. Our Legal Advocacy Program has seen a heightened increase in need for services and have been able to help families through the support of pro-bono attorneys, like O’Melveny & Meyers LLP. Our partnership has been critical in helping victims and survivors navigate the legal system.  To read more click the digital issue here on pages 46 and 47.

CA Health Report: The Pandemic Spurred a Domestic Violence Epidemic. It’s Not Over Yet.

Since the stay-at-home orders went into effect last year, we have seen a 50% rise in hotline calls and request for help. “It’s not necessarily that being home made the (abuser) violent. But the escalation occurs because there’s no reprieve from tension.” – Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO, shared in the latest CA Health Report. To read about the effects of the pandemic on victims and survivors of relationship violence, check out the latest article from the CA Health Report featuring Human Options: https://www.calhealthreport.org/2021/07/29/the-pandemic-spurred-a-domestic-violence-epidemic-its-not-over-yet/

Spectrum News 1 – Prevention Education at Santa Ana High School 2.21.20

Spectrum News 1 – Prevention Education at Santa Ana High School 2.21.20 A study from the American Psychological Association revealed that one in three teens ages 14 to 20 have experienced dating abuse, and about the same number say they’ve committed dating abuse themselves. To reverse this trend and experience healthy relationships, it’s vital that teens (and their parents) understand how to communicate, respect boundaries, practice self-care and appreciate their partners. Human Options is sharing its Countdown to #HealthyLove campaign to start conversations about healthy relationships by educating teens at our local high schools. During the month of TDVAM, Human Options and Santa Ana High School partnered together to educate Santa…

CEO, Maricela Rios-Faust, on KTLA discussing Teen Dating Violence 2.23.20

Human Options CEO, Maricela Rios-Faust, on KTLA discussing Teen Dating Violence 2.23.20 1 in 3 teens experience some type of dating abuse, adolescents are at a higher risk of experiencing intimate partner violence than any other age group. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) and we are working to ignite social change by educating and empowering others. Watch our Chief Executive Officer, Maricela Rios-Faust, on KTLA as she talks about talks about Teen Dating Violence! Click here!