News & Blog - Page 9 of 11 - Human Options


Young Men Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence

For women and children who escaped abuse perpetrated mostly by males, it was an oddity to see twenty adolescent boys standing in the middle of our shelter on a sunny Saturday in March. The shelter is in a confidential location and isn’t visited by very many people, but for three days straight we welcomed an influx of young men and construction workers who generously donated their time and all of the supplies to make one outdated unit feel like a real home. The National League of Young Men (NLYM) is comprised of young men in grades 9-12 and allows mothers to promote leadership development through community service with their sons….


Breaking the Silence

Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence (DV). Often thought of as a family issue, it is really a social, business and health priority that impacts our entire community. To break the cycle, we must end the stigma associated with DV and help communities learn to identify and support victims. Human Options has been an innovative leader in this area since 1984 when we began working in high schools to educate teens. Peer culture is powerful. Giving teens the knowledge & ability to stand against DV is the first step in shifting our culture of silence. Last October we…


Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month Recap

Love. Comfort. Safety. These are just a few words that were used by our clients and staff to describe what home meant to them. When people talk about their home, it is supposed to represent positive characteristics of family. However, in a violent household, home is no longer where the heart is. According to the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, the occurrence of domestic violence in the home is the single most common precursor to child deaths in the United States. On average, between four and seven children pass away everyday due to child abuse and neglect. During the month of April, Human Options kicked off Child Abuse…


Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Recap

As many celebrated the month of love this past February, Human Options had something else in mind. Although domestic violence awareness has been recently widely distributed in national media, there seems to be another aspect of the topic that is not highlighted. Domestic violence is commonly viewed as an issue that only affects adults, specifically married couples. However, teen dating violence is an issue present today. 1.5 million high school students will be physically abused by a dating partner each year. Many teen dating behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship that people often ignore potential warning signs or make excuses. February is National Teen…


Domestic Violence Awareness Month Recap

1.3 million women in the United States are victimized by domestic violence every year. This issue cannot be ignored—it thrives in silence and takes a community to change. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to shed more light on an issue that has affected so many people. It is a time to mourn those who have lost their lives, celebrate those who have survived, and connect all of us to break the cycle. Human Options wanted to make a meaningful impact in October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month by encouraging the community to join our movement and take a stand against domestic violence. The prevalence of domestic violence in…


Building A Community for Social Responsibility

People often ask me how to start a non-profit. The answer is clear: Passion, clear purpose, a powerful mission, and the perseverance to reach out to many and build through tough times – a complicated but effective path. A path not unlike the one a for-profit start-up takes but with one difference. That difference is the coming together of a caring and committed community. Human Options is the product of just such a caring and committed community of individuals. In the beginning there were only a few of us sharing a passion to help build a community where no woman or child would ever be afraid in her or his…


How Temporary Went to Tragic then Triumphant

It was only supposed to be temporary. Just a few months until they got back on their feet – and in the meantime, an extra pair of hands around the house would be a blessing. At least that was what Mildred initially thought when her son, his wife and their daughter came to live with her. But six months later, Mildred found herself a prisoner in her own home. Her son and his family had taken over and abused her financially, emotionally and ultimately physically. Until a concerned neighbor found Mildred with a broken arm, her plight did not catch the attention of police or other authorities. This is an…


EY Entrepreneur of the Year Honors Vivian Clecak

She stands no taller than a glass pint of milk. But on June 4 she towered over the sold out St. Regis ballroom filled with a who’s who of corporate Orange County. As she accepted the first ever EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Social Responsibility and Non-Profits she demonstrated again why she is a remarkable leader in stature, vision and passion. In a career filled with a trophy case of accomplishments, being named one of Orange County’s true entrepreneurs was a crowning achievement. “A big night for our Founding CEO, Vivian Clecak and an equally big night for Human Options, an organization that sets the gold standard for…


Love Is Not Supposed To Hurt

Human Option’s community educator asked the class to describe a healthy dating relationship. A girl in the second row raised her hand, “My Boyfriend lets me be me.  He likes my friends.  He gives me space when I want it.  He doesn’t put me down.  He likes me”. But some girls have a different story to tell…..  . Her name was Molly.  She was 18 years old.  She was a pretty girl, soft spoken.  She had come to my office that day to tell me her story. And even though what had happened to her had ended a year earlier, she had to stop now and then and cry.  She…

Human Options offers hope and help

Blog by Vivian Clecak, Co-Founder & CEO, Human Options “Vivian, don’t you remember me?” At least once a month I am approached in a store or restaurant by a woman whose face I do not remember immediately. She reminds me, “I was at the shelter in Laguna Beach in 1990, my name is….” And I remember, I remember her little girl hiding behind her mom. And I remember her story. Now she tells me a new story, of a new life free of violence and a daughter who is in college and doing well. And she thanks Human Options for saving and changing her life and her daughter’s life. This…