Joe D’Andrea: DVSAC has a new name: ‘Community Beyond Violence’
I have served on the board of directors at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for the past six years and as board president for the past three years. It has been rewarding well beyond my expectations.
As I depart, I am excited about where this vital community agency is headed. First, we have three outstanding directors in a shared leadership role directing finance, programs, and outreach/development. Each director is highly suited for their role and responsibilities. We have 24 amazing employees and many volunteers all dedicated to the mission of offering resources for building healthy relationships and working with community partners to provide services for healing the effects of interpersonal violence.
Second, after approximately 40 years in this community, I have come to find out that many longtime residents have not heard of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition. We are renaming ourselves and changing our name to Community Beyond Violence this summer.
We are taking this step for a couple reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason is that the new name is more upbeat and positive in keeping with what we do everyday, which extends beyond intervention services. Alongside intervention services we provide clients with a safe environment. We do that and do it well, but very few know about all the prevention and education programs.
A lot is done at our local high schools in teaching our young people about healthy relationships and how they should treat each other, especially how young men need to treat young women and what that really means.
Fifty-three percent of our budget goes to domestic violence and the shelter, 31 percent to sexual assault programs, and only 8 percent to prevention. It would be wonderful if we had 40 percent funding for prevention. Remember the old saying, “Prevention is the best medicine?” Well, I see the reports and they are impressive. What we are doing in the prevention area with our young people is working .
Ninety-two percent of our funding is from government grants and are highly restrictive with how those dollars are used. Only 2 percent of our budget is from gifts/donations and 2 percent from fundraisers. These are unrestricted dollars that can be used for, lets say, enhanced prevention … you remember that’s the best medicine? That’s not a lot of funding to prevent much.
Our new name is “Community Beyond Violence.” Since being founded in 1978, we have expanded into fields such as; human trafficking, bullying, child and elder abuse, and promoting healthy relationships. These expansion areas are not fully funded by government grants. In order to continue this prevention work, we must rely on dollars we receive from donors and our limited fundraisers to fund “The Best Medicine.”
After six years on this board and gaining much knowledge, I would not want to think about what our community would be like without the services of Community Beyond Violence.
If you would like to help this agency in its critical community work and help provide sustainable, unrestricted funding for prevention and education of our young people, you can donate online at DVSAC.org or mail to Community Beyond Violence, P.O. Box 484 Grass Valley, CA 95945.
It has been my extreme pleasure in being associated with this organization these past six years and helping bring this agency to a new dawn, so to speak. Please keep informed of what Community Beyond Violence will be doing in the near future. Your community and our children will be the beneficiaries, and the better for it.
Joe D’Andrea is the board president of Commmunity Beyond Violence, formerly DVSAC. He lives in Penn Valley.
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“There is a cult of ignorance in this country … nurtured by the false notion that ‘my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov, 1980.