News & Blog - Human Options

We Are Here for Victims of Relationship Violence Who Aren’t Safer at Home

As COVID-19 restrictions tighten, it’s creating the perfect storm for incidents of relationship violence to surge. Stay-at-home mandates, unemployment, school closures and other factors are adding to the overwhelming stress and volatility of already abusive relationships. Staying home for victims of relationship violence can be just as dangerous as contracting what could be a deadly virus. What do you do if you’re trapped in the most terrifying place — your own home? As abusive partners feel more justified to escalate their isolation tactics, it becomes harder for victims to report it. Victims generally wait to be alone before they seek help. They wait for their abuser to go to work,…

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)- KABC7 Features Human Options Presenting on Relationship Violence Prevention at Santa Ana High School

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)  During the month of TDVAM, Human Options and Santa Ana High School partnered together to teach Santa Ana High School students on relationship violence prevention. Santa Ana teacher, Tom Erikson, opened up his Criminal Justice Class to Human Options’ staff member, Marissa Presley, to teach students about relationship violence, the warning signs, and what healthy relationships look like. With 1 in 3 teens experiencing some type of dating abuse, adolescents are at a higher risk of experiencing intimate partner violence than any other age group. Research has shown that dating violence is predictive of more serious physical abuse in future relationships and…

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Multiple studies have found that domestic violence survivors have higher-than-average rates of suicidal thoughts, with as many as 23 percent of survivors having attempted suicide compared to 3 percent among populations with no prior domestic violence exposure. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Please remember, pain is not permanent. You have purpose. If you’re hurting, help is here. Call 1-800-273-TALK for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. #BeWellOC #NSPW19  

Human Options Receives 4-Star Charity Navigator Rating

Human Options, an Orange County-based nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of relationship violence, is pleased to announce it received the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. Approximately only a quarter of rated charities received this top distinction demonstrating the nonprofit’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. “It is such an honor to receive Charity Navigator’s four-star recognition for Human Options’ strong financial health, and our commitment to accountability and transparency,” said Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options. “Our Board of Directors and employees are dedicated to creating an organizational culture that is efficient as possible to accomplish our mission to end…

The Need For Safety: Susan’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Prior to leaving her abusive marriage and relocating, Susan’s husband installed a malicious application onto her phone which automatically installed onto all her Apple devices. Since she was using the same iCloud account for her cell phone, iPads, and MacBook, Susan’s husband was able to see what she and her kids were doing on their iPads, turn on the location feature to find out where they were living, and even eavesdrop on her cell phone conversations. Susan began to notice that her phone battery was draining fast, and that her husband knew things that only someone who had access to her devices would…

The Need For Safety: Eve’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Eve and her two children fled from her abuser to a temporary safe location. She had a physical disability that required her to use a walker at all times and was unable to drive. Due to the financial abuse Eve suffered, she did not have the money to purchase a new cell phone and plan of her own. A phone was vital for her to contact safe friends and family members for support, to remain in communication with social services regarding her abuser’s fraudulent use of her disability funds, and to access any private information stored on her phone relevant to her restraining…

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#AbuseKnowsNoAge

One in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of a loved one, caregiver or even a stranger. From financial and emotional to physical and sexual, elder abuse is a national growing concern that will continue to affect the fastest growing age group in Orange County. Human Options’ Safe Options for Seniors (SOS) was the first program of its kind in Orange County, specifically designed to support adults age 50+ who have experienced abuse. Our SOS program provides counseling, legal advocacy, support groups and more. We’ve helped clients like Barbara escape abuse by providing her with the services and resources to take back control of her…

The Need For Safety: Julie’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Julie’s husband was a violent man with stalking tendencies. After Julie and her children entered our shelter, we determined it would only be safe for her to use her personal cell phone at least 10 miles from the shelter and only for a limited amount of time in one sitting. Julie had been working tirelessly to secure placement for her family in a transitional living program. She decided to take her children to a park 15 miles away from the shelter as a safety precaution in order to use her phone to check for messages. Ten minutes after she turned on her phone,…

The Need For Safety: Maria’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Maria and her daughter were safety transferred into our emergency shelter after Maria’s abuser showed up at their previous shelter. After staff denied him entry and called the police, Maria’s abuser broke her car windows and stole confidential paperwork regarding custody of their daughter. He also stole Maria’s medication that she was prescribed for an injury sustained as a result of the abuse. When Maria logged into her email account from a secure shelter computer to access some important evidence for the domestic violence case against her partner, a notice appeared stating that she was already logged on. Not thinking much of it,…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Cornerstone Church

Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, especially when you are concerned about housing. At Human Options, our Second Step transitional housing program offers survivors of relationship violence a safe place where they can regain their independence as they continue on their journey of healing. “We’re called to take care of each other,” says April Hufford, Cornerstone Ministry Leader. “We do our best to prepare a comfortable home for each family. For the past three years, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship has designed apartment spaces prior to a family moving into Second Step by blending new with the old by repurposing donated furniture, artwork, and home essentials.  “They deserve good things–to feel…