Staying Connected
A Welcoming Place for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their allies
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Staff Members

David A. Bianchi,
Executive Director
Rita Flores,
Assistant Director
Ama Delevett,
Assistant Program Director
Janette Waters
Assistant Program Director
Maryela Perez
Outreach Coordinator
Amy Pine, LMFT
Ama Delevett, LMFT
Antoinette Parekh, LMFT
Erik Barnes, LMFT
Marga Vaquer, LMFT
Michael Leimbach,LMFT
Stephanie Soto, MFTI

Friends of the Center
Amy Pine
Bettina Aptheker
Cheryl Stone
Dottie Jakobsen
Emalou King
Jean Sumner 
Kathy Riley
Kim Allyn
Maria Rodriguez-Castillo
Maria Elena De La Garza
Melyssa Cowles
Moriah Fey
Misa Leonessa Garavaglia
Tracy Ferdinand
Terri Kirschen
Many Thanks for supporting the 2013 Walk to Stop the Silence and partnering with us to end child sexual abuse in our community!



DJ Bahia Tropical

White Hawk Danza Azteca

Thank You to our HOSTS:
Albert Crevello, MD and Rosemary Zarate-Crevello, LMFT
Dottie Jakobsen: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 
The Santa Cruz Sentinel

 *A special thank you to Nordic Naturals for sponsoring the Walk the past six years! 
Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS!

Kim Allyn 
Julee and Jake Cade  
Tracey Casillas
Samantha Covington 
Melyssa Cowles 
Maria Elena De La Garza
Tasha Dufrene  
Pembe Ethem 
Tracy Ferdinand 
Diane Fridlund 
Misa Garavaglia 
Dottie Jakobsen Sheridan Jorgensen 
Emalou King 
Terri Kirschen
Barbara Littlefield
Jill McLennan 
Amy Pine 
Kathy Riley 
Maria Rodriquez-Castillo
Julie Russo
Alejandra Vargas 
Thank you to our walkers and individual donors.  Your support is deeply appreciated.  We will publish our walker and donor acknowledgements in our Spring 2014 Newsletter.

More and more people are breaking the silence and coming forward to seek support. Please consider donating
to our scholarship fund to keep  our services available to all who need them.

The 2013 Walk to Stop the Silence was a wonderful success! I want to thank the many businesses and faith-based groups who stood with us, and who continue to support our goals of ending childhood sexual abuse in our community and providing resources to help survivors heal.  Our press sponsors, the Register-Pajaronian and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, provided excellent coverage this year, and I am grateful for their participation and support. I also want to recognize the walkers themselves, many of whom brought in generous donations through pledges, and of course our dedicated volunteers, who gave countless hours of their own time to make this Walk the success that it was.


Thanks to all our collaborators and contributors, to our newest friends and to the faithful core who have been with us year in and year out. With your participation and support we are raising awareness around this vital issue. Our work is not finished until we have eliminated this scourge from our community, but with your help we are making progress and we are getting the message out.


With Deep Appreciation, 

Kathy Riley 2013 Walk Coordinator

and Survivors Healing Center

News & Events From Survivors Healing Center

Walk to Stop the Silence Recap

     -By Pembe Ethem, FSA Intern  




I first came to John F. Kennedy University to study psychology in the hopes of making a difference in the world around me.  As part of the program, first year students are required to fulfill 216 hours at an ethnographic internship.  During my placement, I was asked to help out in Survivors Healing Center where I would be working collaboratively with the staff and other volunteers to coordinate the Walk to Stop the Silence 2013 event. Upon meeting the staff at Survivors Healing Center and learning what they do, I was thrilled to be a part of something that would enhance our community's well-being.


Learning about the Walk to Stop the Silence and how so many people and organizations were brought together by this event was a source of empowerment.  For each task I was given, I learned something new about survivors of childhood sexual abuse and the people affected by it. I began to understand why this event is so important for our community, especially since sexual abuse of children often goes unreported. Even more so, I realized the importance of keeping the event a positive experience since, unfortunately, most survivors tend to feel a sense of shame regarding their past. Based on what I have witnessed, a large part of the healing process is to understand that the abuse is not the survivors' fault and no child deserves to have that happen to him/her. It has been very reassuring to see how many people work tirelessly and passionately to raise awareness of this issue.   


We feared that on the day of the event the weather would be rainy; yet upon arrival, the sun was just peeking out giving us a sense of optimism that the day would go smoothly.  Roughly 200 walkers and 12 collaborating organizations (including Janus, BACA, Si Se Puede, Salud Para La Gente, the Watsonville Police, Head Start, DJ Bahia Tropical, The White Hawk Azteca Dancers, Author Emalou King, Rising International, Parajo Valley Shelter and Santa Cruz Residential) came out in support of ending child sexual abuse in our community.   We received tremendous financial support from 50 local businesses and the faith based community sponsors, who also want to end child sexual abuse in our community.   


Maria Rodriquez-Castillo and Maria Elena De La Garza, both long term Watsonville residents and Friends of Survivors Healing Center, were fantastic hostesses of the Walk this year. The White Hawk Azteca dancers, in their beautiful costumes and headdresses, danced and lead our walk through downtown Watsonville. We were able to experience words of wisdom from the Mayor of Watsonville, Lowell Hurst, two officers from the Watsonville Police Department and Melanie Martinez from the office of Greg Caput. Some more highlights of the event included a beautiful song performance from vocalist Tamora Pellikka, accompanied by Amy Pine on the piano and a raffle for the walkers, which gave out many prizes from local businesses.    

David Bianchi, Executive Director, presented Walk Hero Awards to Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A), Santa Cruz Residential and Si Se Puede for their many years of participation and help with the Walk to Stop the Silence and their efforts to end child sexual abuse in our community.       


The walk itself was also very liberating. We walked as a large group of people holding up signs to raise awareness, encouraging drivers to honk in support. Even the most serious driver passing by would sneak a smile to his/her face and eventually caved into honking for us.           


Feeling like I was part of a community whose goals were to raise awareness for the safety and well-being of its members was a life altering experience. I have been thanked countless times for helping with the organization of the event, but all of the thanks should really go to the people at Survivors Healing Center who have dedicated their lives in the hopes of helping others and improving the quality of life in our community.  I have seen first-hand, the compassion and sense of safety that is provided inside and outside of the center. Members of Survivors Healing Center spend all of their time dedicated to helping survivors heal by providing workshops, individual and group therapy and retreats. The center is also very committed to their community child sexual abuse prevention program. 

It has truly been a most enlightening experience for me to be a part of a group that has aided in the healing process of so many people. As my time at this internship is drawing to a close, I will take what I have learned from my role models at Survivors Healing Center and will apply the same altruism and compassion to my future endeavors.

Group Counseling Services
We believe that survivors of child sexual abuse and those who love and support them benefit by interacting with others in similar situations.

If you would like more information regarding the groups or if you would like to enroll, please call us at (831) 423-7601 or download our registration packet: English |  Espanol 

Women's Therapy Group

We provide a safe and supportive environment for healing from child sexual abuse. Together we break through isolation, develop healthy coping skills, reduce shame, and build healthy boundaries. Healing is facilitated using emotional release exercises, meditation, imagery, writing, and group discussions. An emphasis is placed on learning to nurture ourselves as we heal. The group meets for 12 weeks.

Led by Ama Delevett LMFT
 in Santa Cruz: Monday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm; Tuesday, 10:00am to 12:00 noon & 5:00pm to 7:00pm; Wednesday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Led by Antoinette Parekh LMFT
in Santa Cruz: Monday 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Led by Marga Vaquer LMFT

in Watsonville: Tuesday, 5:00pm to 7:00pm (Spanish)

Men's Therapy Group
We help men understand that they are not alone and are not to blame. In a safe, supportive environment, we will use writing, emotional release exercises, and other processes to explore our feelings, confront the violation, and recognize the anger resulting from the original abuse. Gather strength, celebrate survival, and take the steps necessary to heal and move on. Group meets for 12 weeks.
Led by Erik Barnes, LMFT
Wednesday, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Led by Michael Leimach, LMFT

Thursday, 10:00am to 12:00 noon  
Latina Therapy Group

We provide a safe and supportive healing environment for exploring issues of child sexual abuse and  break isolation, develop healthy coping skills, reduce shame, increase self-esteem, and build healthy boundaries. Healing is facilitated through the use of emotional release exercises, meditation, imagery, writing, and group discussions.The group meets in Watsonville  for 12 weeks.

Led by Marga Vaquer, LMFT     


Mothers Group

We are now offering an eight-week intensive therapy group for mothers whose children are survivors of sexual abuse. Goals of the therapy groups are to break isolation, process the effects of the trauma and develop healthy boundaries and coping skills. Healing is facilitated using group discussion with others in similar situations.

Led by Antoinette Parekh, LMFT Friday, 10:00am to 12:00 noon

Partners of Survivors Group

This is a safe, nurturing group to explore the impact of child sexual abuse has on your relationship and the unique challenges you might face. Partners will learn how to take care of themselves while helping each other grow. Learn how to be present and supportive, to get past the pain and find relief in the safety of a healthy, loving, and romantic relationship. 

Teen Girls Group in Watsonville

We provide a safe and supportive environment for young women regain hope and heal from sexual abuse. In a group pf 4-6 participants, teen girls (15-18 years) will explore healthy coping skills, process the effects of the trauma, increase self-esteem, reconnect with their strengths and courage and reclaim their lives.   

Led by Karen Ouse Friday afternoons


Expressive Arts Therapy Group for Women

Women have the opportunity to explore their self-identity through art in a safe and nurturing environment. Various art forms are used alongside an exploration of boundaries to help increase self-esteem and support the issues that come with healing and self-discovery.  No previous experience with art is necessary.

Led by Stephanie Soto, MFT Intern

Thursday, 5:00pm to 7:00pm


Expressive Arts Groups

We provide a safe and supportive environment for children, teens and young adult to heal from sexual abuse. Together we will process the effect of the trauma, reduce shame, and practice healthy coping skills. We supporting participants to reconnect with their strengths, courage and creativity. Healing is facilitated using expressive arts and play therapy.

* Pre-teen group (10-13 years)
* Teen group (14-16 years)

* Young Adult (16-22 years)  


You are not alone. You are not to blame. Join a group of 6-7 individuals. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale. Call now to pre-register: (831) 423-7601.

104 Walnut Ave, Suite 201
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Survivors Healing Center is a program of Family Service Agency of the Central Coast.
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