A Word from Mark
Dear Friends of WTLC,
Over the past six months, we here at WTLC have carefully reworked the way we provide services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure services remained safe and accessible to the survivors of domestic violence in our community. We have increased our use of emergency motel vouchers for those who need a safe place to stay the night, we have implemented safety measures to continue to provide in-person services, we have moved services to be virtually accessible to survivors, and we have introduced our NOTABLE livestream programming, which keeps the community informed, engaged, and connected during this challenging time.

It is the commitment of our staff who work every day as essential workers to support each survivor who has experienced abuse by their partner, build safe spaces for each child who has witnessed violence within their home, and offer each person who has caused harm in their relationships the opportunity to accept responsibility for their actions and create meaningful change. Much of this work goes unsung, but this month during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I humbly ask you to pause and take a moment to recognize the amazing work of the frontline staff here at WTLC and our partner organizations, who have made it their mission to support and serve those who have been victimized by abuse. As Maya Angelou said, “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”

If you’re looking for great ways to be involved this DV Awareness Month, consider joining us either in person or online for a number of meaningful workshops, panels, and events we have planned for you. See our full DV Awareness Month events calendar. I’d love to see you there! 


With Appreciation,

Mark
WTLC Welcomes New Board Member
Dr. Tom Hayashi
WTLC is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Tom Hayashi as the newest member to the our Board of Directors. “We are excited to welcome Tom Hayashi to our Board of Directors. Tom brings decades of leadership in key areas, such as diversity and inclusion, organizational strategy, and program development,” says WTLC CEO, Mark Lee. 

Tom serves as the Chair & Program Director for the Department of Leadership and Management at Saybrook University in Pasadena, CA. His professional highlights include leading public policy and advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., during the Obama administration, serving as the Executive Director for OCA-APA Advocates - a national civil rights membership organization representing the Asian Pacific Islander communities - and Vice President of Development and External Relations for the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. 
 
Tom proudly identifies as a cis gay Asian Pacific Islander, former foster youth, first-generation immigrant, and first-generation college graduate. Tom holds a PhD and an MA in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University; an MS Ed in Education with concentration in Instructional Technology from California State University East Bay; and a BA in Liberal Studies from Thomas Edison State University.  
Sarah Starts Over for Her Children
Sarah found herself a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her estranged husband. “When the pandemic started, my husband became depressed after being furloughed from his job and directed his anger and frustration at me,” Sarah said. After her husband physically attacked her in front of her children in July, Sarah sought help by reaching out to WTLC’s Helpline for housing support. Within days, Sarah entered WTLC’s Emergency Shelter program with her daughter Katie and twin boys Jacob and Joshua.

Sarah had suffered abuse by her husband for many years throughout her marriage but decided to stay in the relationship for the sake of her children. Prior to leaving her abusive home environment, Sarah and her children lived a lavish lifestyle in South Orange County. “It was hard for me to leave because my kids had everything – a nice house, a backyard to play in, and their own rooms but it got to a point where they started sleeping with me because they were afraid of their dad. That’s when I knew I had to get out.” 
Remember This During Domestic Violence Awareness Month: You Have the Power to Create Safer and Healthier Communities
We’ve made it to October. Each year at this time, WTLC highlights Domestic Violence Awareness Month along with our advocacy and prevention efforts, the raising of survivors’ voices, and our work to eradicate violence in our communities. But this October looks and feels different. In the midst of a pandemic, WTLC has had to adapt to an unprecedented time.
 
For several months leading up to this important month of awareness, we’ve grappled with some new realities: collective anxiety over coping with an ever-changing unknown; gratitude and appreciation for essential workers who put their lives at risk to keep others safe; the realization of how survivors of abuse have done just that – attempted to survive. With the threat of illness, those affected by violence have become further isolated and silenced, by quarantine and by drastic changes in the way our society now functions.
 
We have seen the marches and the protests, and we have heard the demands for social justice, for racial justice. Now, recent research including some of our own shows a dramatic rise in phone calls to domestic violence hotlines—the inevitable result of quarantining survivors of violence with the very person who may do them harm. As we begin October Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s now time to go beyond a call for awareness - it is time for action. 
Thank You, When Georgia Smiled!
Thank you to When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation and Dr. Phil Foundation for granting WTLC $15,000 to support our emergency shelter program.

When Georgia Smiled is a partnership between Robin McGraw and Dr. Phil McGraw, dedicated to helping support organizations like WTLC that create healthy, safe, and joy-filled lives for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Their support will allow us to continue to provide life-saving shelter services to the survivors in our community, ensuring everyone who reaches out to us for help has a safe and comfortable place to live while recovering from the trauma of an abusive relationship.

Thank you, When Georgia Smiled!
notable brings you free online programming to support your emotional, mental, and relational health. Join us for our daily live streams and educational classes to equip you with knowledge to create healthier lives, relationships, and communities.
*Seats are limited for this event to ensure we adhere to social distancing guidelines.
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