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The Center Now  


Building Relationships, Families & Communities

Free from Violence


Like me, I'm certain that many of you have been impacted in numerous ways by the horror that occurred in Newtown, Conn. The numerous conversations about gun violence prevention which have begun and recent actions taken by the President got me thinking about the role of guns in domestic violence relationships. Here's what I learned...

Abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners. Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times, compared to instances where there are no weapons.


In 2010, three women a day were killed by their intimate partner; of females killed with a firearm, almost two-thirds were killed by an intimate partner and 52% of female homicide victims were shot and killed with a gun.


From 1998 to 2001, more than 2,800 people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions were able to purchase guns without being identified by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  


As 2013 gets started, I am grateful numerous conversations about gun violence prevention are underway. (Statistics provided by the National Network to End Domestic Violence)


2013 also brings us the opportunity to reflect on the past year. In doing so, how satisfying it was to learn that the hours of service so generously given by The Center's volunteers is equivalent to having over three, that's right three full time staff members!  


Truly an amazing outcome!! Thank you!! If you have ever thought about wanting to support The Center, registration for our next volunteer training is now open!


Volunteers along with so many of our dedicated donors also did an amazing job supporting our Holiday Adopt-a-Family program! Read further to learn just how great a job they did and the joy they brought to families this Holiday!




Matt Huckabay
Executive Director
(530)626-1450 or matth@thecenternow.org


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In This Issue
The Center Offers Workshop
Want a Healthier Heart? Volunteer!
Volunteer Spotlight! Jana Pingle
Holiday Wrap Up
Walk the Walk

"Why do women stay in abusive relationships?"


"Why don't they just leave?"


"Why do they go back?"


Have you ever wondered about any of these questions?  If so, The Center will offer a unique experiential exercise for anyone who wishes to understand the answers to these questions and how we all play a role in ending domestic violence and sexual assault.


Join us Saturday, February 2, 2013 for this powerful workshop. "Walking the Walk" is a domestic violence and sexual violence awareness exercise that is designed to allow YOU to experience the issues and emotions survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence face every day. This exercise was created to give you a better understanding of the true complexity of domestic violence and sexual assault and the lasting impact it has on the survivor and their loved ones.


In this workshop, YOU will become the survivor. You will learn about the different responses survivors receive from family, friends, and community members as you weave your way through your character's story.  At times, you will be asked to make life choices, and understand the consequences of your decisions for your character. 


The goal of the exercise is multifaceted: to increase awareness of the struggles that people with abusive partners face; to illustrate that domestic violence and sexual assault are a community tragedy, not a private problem; to show that we all have a role in the movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault.  We encourage you to think creatively to end domestic violence and sexual assault in our community and beyond.


"Walk the Walk" is based on the real-life experiences of survivors.  Participation in the 2 hour workshop is free to the public and will be held at The Center - across from the Placerville Regal Cinema.


Date: Saturday, February 2, 2013

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Place: The Center for Violence Free Relationships

344 Placerville Drive, Suite 11

Placerville, CA 95667

Cost: Free of charge.


For more information on the "Walk" contact Martha Borders at The Center at (530) 626-1450 or (916) 939-4464 or MarthaB@TheCenterNow.org.



Want a Healthier Heart?

I recently heard about one of our legal volunteers that had been inactive for a long while. It seemed she was going through some things personally and had not been in the office in quite a while. One of our legal staff members ran into her in the store and made an effort to reconnect with her and invited her to help out at court one day. 


This wonderful woman who is in her 80's showed up and was amazing. She was patient and kind and cared for 4 different clients as they sat waiting for their court appointments. When she was finished helping that day, she told the staff person who invited her back, "I guess I am still needed."


Volunteers are the life blood of any nonprofit organization. The Center's volunteers are some of the most dedicated and wonderful individuals.   They gave over 6300 hours last year to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Center would need to hire 3 full time employees to cover for the work that our volunteers do and this is nothing short of remarkable.


No matter what skills you have, you are needed to help us in our mission of building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence.   We have volunteers from many different professions; fire fighter, teachers, social workers, homemakers and community activists. Check out our list of volunteer opportunities (below) and see which one excites you!


Volunteering is not only good for the community, but did you know that it can have many benefits for you too? Here are some reasons to volunteer:

  • Learn or develop a new skill 
  • Be part of a great team 
  • Get motivated and gain a sense of achievement
  • Boost your career opportunities
  • Develop new interests and hobbies
  • Meet some great new friends
  • Meeting a diverse range of people

Volunteering is also good for your 3 heartsheart according to a report that draws from the results of more than 30 studies on the topic!   The report states that people who volunteer enjoy longer lives, higher functional ability, and lower rates of depression and heart disease. "Volunteering can give you a new sense of purpose and keep you active. If people volunteer regularly it helps contribute to the maintenance of a strong social network," says Robert Grimm, director of the research and policy development office at the Corporation for National & Community Service, a government organization that promotes community service and published the report.


So, if you'd like a place to feel valued, and get some great benefits too, we'd like to invite you to join us at our upcoming volunteer training. Starting on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 classes will be held through April 22, 2013.


If you are interested in more information, please click on the links below:

Spring Volunteer Training Schedule 

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Application


If you'd like more information about volunteering at The Center, please contact Martha Borders at MarthaB@thecenternow.org or (530) 626-1450.


We look forward to seeing you in March!  

Volunteer Spotlight!


We couldn't do what we do here at The Center without our volunteers. We will be starting a new feature in our Enews where we will spotlight one of our beloved volunteers every month! You'll get to learn about these wonderful people who are doing so much good in our community!


Our first spotlight is Jana Pingle. Jana is a unique volunteer who has helped bring her expertise, as a consultant, to help improve The Center's organizational capacity and doing more with what we have. In 2006, she worked to map all the processes of The Center's programs. No small task since we didn't have much in the way of structure to begin with. In 2008 she helped redesign the 69 hour volunteer training curriculum. In 2009, she donated hundreds of hours as a volunteer consultant in the implementation of a paperless case management software, Efforts to Outcomes. In 2012, she created PowerPoint visuals for the Peace 1st program. Throughout her time at The Center Jana has become a mentor to The Center's Operations Manager, Emma Owens. Currently Jana is bringing her volunteer consulting expertise to help create a Theory of Change for The Center to improve our evaluative capacity.

I sat down with Jana recently and asked her a few questions about why she is passionate about her work here at The Center.


Jana & her husband Ray 

What interests you most about The Center?

The Center is forward-thinking and poised to make meaningful strides towards changing how DV/SA is addressed in El Dorado County and, ultimately, throughout California. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

Why does this cause matter to you?

I have always placed a high value on basic human dignity. Domestic violence strips not only the victim but the abuser of that dignity.

What do you like most about volunteering at The Center? I appreciate the opportunity to "exercise" the skills acquired during my career and to continually stretch myself. I like being part of a community that feels deeply about an important cause and have developed friendships with some wonderful people.  


Tell me about a time you felt really connected with the mission of our organization.

Whenever I hear about client who has been helped by a counselor who has completed one of the volunteer training programs I helped develop, I feel a part of that healing process.

What have you learned by volunteering here?

I've learned so much it's hard to answer that question. I definitely have a greater appreciation for the detrimental effects of discrimination and oppression. 

If you had a personal mission statement, what would it be?

Actually I developed a list of personal post-retirement goals five years ago. One of which is, in part, to work to have wide reaching impact on domestic violence. It seemed a little ambitious at the time but that was before I met The Center's executive director, Matt Huckabay. He dreams BIG and the team he put together has the heart and the ability to make those dreams a reality.

Tell me a little about your personal background. Past work experience, where you've lived, favorite hobby, kids, grand kids etc.

I am retired from a successful independent consulting practice in health care operations. My husband and I agreed when we retired that we would give half our time to working in the community and the other half to having fun. So far that plan has worked well for us! We enjoy time with family and friends, lots of travel and working to keep healthy and fit. We have a son and a daughter and 5 amazing grandsons (yes, all boys). As for hobbies, I am an enthusiastic photographer, hiker (well, more of a walker), avid gardener and I love my silly little beagle, Fergie.

Fergie: Cutest dog ever!

Thank you Jana.  Thank you for the work you do with The Center.  We are so grateful and lucky to have you on our team! 

Domestic Violence
Sexual Assault 

24/7 Crisis Help Line

The Center for Violence-Free Relationships is dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy, and services in western El Dorado County. 
The Center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.  All contributions are tax deductible and vital to continue our services.
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  Sierra Pacific Logo Blue Shield Logo 


Mercedes Benz Logo  


 El Dorado Savings Bank logo 

  Hanson McClain     

    Kacie's Ride for Hope Logo  


Board chairs   

The Center's Board of Directors


John Moalli, Sc.D.


Executive/Engineering Consultant

Exponent, Inc.

Lecturer - Chemical Engineering

Stanford University


Barbara Bossung, RN

Vice President

Community Activist


Jan Coffrini


Community Activist  


Joedda Wick


Client Services Manager  

DST Output


Robert Geyer

Senior VP Customer Operations

Blue Shield of California


Doug Hoisington

IT Consultant 


Elizabeth Zacharias

VP Human Resources



 Auxiliary Board 

Francie Heim

Retired Deputy Superintendent

El Dorado Office of Education


Althea Hurley 

Community Activist

Thanks to Tito Guevara and BP Fabric of America Fund! They came and presented a check to our Executive Director Matt Huckabay! Thank you for your support! You guys ROCK!!!

Domestic Violence
Sexual Assault 

24/7 Crisis Help Line

Support The Center

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Empowerment tree



We have an evening group and a morning group that meet once a week for women who have experienced emotional, verbal or physical abuse in their intimate relationships.


Benefits of Support Groups:

  1. They reduce isolation - the most important step in taking back your life.
  2. They provide an atmosphere of acceptance and a source of positive feedback.
  3. The provide an opportunity to be heard by those who understand the cycle of abuse.
  4. They provide bonding and trust building experiences.
  5. They allow for sharing available options, tools and techniques that have worked for others.
  6. They promote decision making and awareness of self determination and choices leading to personal empowerment.


Domestic Violence Support and Education Groups:


 We now have a Morning

Afternoon and an Evening Group!

Mondays 9:30-11:30 am 

Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm

Wednesdays 12:00 - 2:00 pm

All here at The Center 


CAP - Women's Changing Abusive Patterns


Peace First - Men's and Women's Workshops on Improving Relationships


MAAP - Men's Alternatives to Abusive Patterns
(English and Spanish)

For more information on these groups call
(530) 626-1450 or
(916) 949-4464

Visit our website    

Save the Date MILT
"Walk the Walk"
An Experiential Workshop
Saturday, Feb 2, 2013
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
This is a free workshop
To register call Martha Borders at
(530) 626-1450 or email her at

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
Monday, March 18, 2013
6-8 pm
Barbara Bossung's Home El Dorado Hills

Calling all Volunteers Cartoon
Volunteer Training
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
6:00 - 9:00 pm
The Center
Click here for the schedule
To register call Martha Borders at
(530) 626-1450 or email her at



Life Skills for Living a Nonviolent Lifestyle

(women only)

Pam Granick, The Center

Mon. Jan.28-March 15, 5:30-7:30 pm


Peace in the Home (4-week series)

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Mon. Jan. 14-Feb. 11, 6-8pm



Nonviolent Communication Intro.

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Mon. Feb. 25, 6-8pm
Being a Resource in Your Community

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Wed. Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m.



Parenting From Your Heart

(Co-Parenting 8-week series)

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Mon. Mar. 4-April 22, 6-8pm



Peace in the Home (4-week series)

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Mon. May 6-May 27, 6-8:30pm


Living Energy of Needs (4-weeks)

Eddie Zacapa, The Center

Mon., June 3-June 24, 6-9pm
This is an Intermediate NVC class
Previous NVC classes recommended
Holiday Wrap Up


The holiday season from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, can be a dark and lonely time for victims of domestic violence and their children. Victims are often on their own, or staying with family or friends and they feel displaced and heartbroken at not being able to provide that holiday magic for their children.


The Center's Holiday Program is designed to help assuage some of these feelings and bring that magic back for both the client and their children.


This year our Thanksgiving festivities were warm and abundant for our clients. Crystal Basin Bistro in Camino invited The Centers' clients to their lovely Bistro on Thanksgiving Day for Thanksgiving Dinner, fully prepared and served. We thank Mike Owen for his kind generosity! Also, the Placerville Masonic Lodge 26 provided 35 fully prepared turkey dinner boxes with all the trimmings for our clients to take home and enjoy with their families.   

Placerville Masons deliver!

Our holiday Adopt-a-Family Program was a huge success this year. With the generous donations of over 41 donors we were able to make the holiday season bright and memorable for 100 children in our community.   


"I would like to thank you for giving me and my family a wonderful Christmas. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. My children and I just loved all of our gifts. Thank you for all of your time, thought, generosity and preparation you so kindly shared with us. We are truly blessed,"  one client wrote to the family that adopted them.


A total of 296 individuals had a holiday filled with joy and were able to create new family traditions and memories. We call that a success around here!


Thank you to all of our wonderful and generous donors.  

Blue Shield of CA


Visit our website    
Stalking Awareness Month

Like domestic violence, stalking is about power and control and it is a crime. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. According to their Legislative Database, as of September 1993, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of stalking law on the books.


We all know what stalking is basically, but if you haven't experienced it, it is difficult to see that getting notes or gifts at your home or at work, or other places might seem sweet and harmless to other people, but if you don't want the gifts and attention that these phone calls, texts, letters, or e-mails bring, it doesn't feel sweet or harmless at all. It can be very scary and frustrating.


So what can you do to spread awareness and prevent stalking in our community? You can know some of the facts:

  • Persons aged 18-24 experience highest rate of stalking
  • 1 in 5 female victims and 1 in 14 male victims experienced stalking between the ages of 11 and 17
  • 66% of female victims and 41% of male victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner
  • 3 out of 4 stalking victims are stalked by someone they know
  • 1 out of every 6 women and 1 out of every 19 men have been stalked at some point in their lifetime
  • 77% of female victims are stalked by someone they know. 64% of male victims are stalked by someone they know

Cyberstalking is on the rise. According to the National Institute of Justice cyberstalking is the use of technology to stalk victims and shares some characteristics with real-life stalking. It involves the pursuit, harassment, or contact of others in an unsolicited fashion initially via the Internet and e-mail. With the Internet and social media everywhere, and the fact that there are now more wireless devices than people in the United States, stalking and cyberstalking are that much easier.


For more information on stalking and Stalking Awareness Month, go to thecenternow.org/get-info/stalking/ or stalkingawarenessmonth.org/about.