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 The New York Times, it revealed that the most dangerous place for a woman, statistically, is her own home. The author expounded on the far-reaching social consequences of intimate violence on individuals, families and communities, and its toxic impact on poverty, homelessness and addiction.
Guests came dressed in purple, the color of domestic violence awareness, to support Human Options’ mission to 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.
“Our annual Fall Luncheon was the first time we’ve been able to come together for our cause since before the pandemic, a time when relationship violence increased significantly due to stay at home orders,” said Human Options CEO, Maricela Rios-Faust. “Every year, we come together to inspire thoughtful conversations around the topic of relationship violence, and advocate for those affected by abuse. Rachel’s speech surrounding the power of systems and how there are moments in time where victims of violence are impacted by social consequences was profound and moving.”
Designed to shine a light on family violence and abuse, the topic of the event was more relevant than ever due to increased violence during the first few waves of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions resulted in sharp spikes in relationship violence between intimate partners and families. Stay-at-home mandates, school closures and the financial stress of unemployment were key factors in separating victims from the people and resources they needed most. In Orange County, calls from victims of relationship violence increased 25 percent across the county when compared with the same period in 2019, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Last year, Human Options reached nearly 8,000 community members through education and prevention, provided 337 individuals and families with a safe space through its emergency shelter and transitional housing program, served over 660 individuals through community-based programs, and has responded to 5,686 callers providing immediate crisis support, information and referrals through its 24-hour hotline.
The Jaffe Family Foundation was the Fall Luncheon Title Sponsor, with Platinum Sponsors including Capital Group and The Hummelberg Family. Silver Sponsor included the Handel Sunrise Foundation, Bronze Sponsors included Katie and Fred Nunez, Crevier Family Foundation, Michele I. and Abdo Khoury, Schilling Law Group, PC and Kerri and Danny Sonenshine.