CORA provides safety, support and healing for individuals who experience abuse in an intimate relationship, and educates the community to break the cycle of domestic violence.
This year marks CORA's 35th anniversary. We are currently the only agency in San Mateo County with the sole purpose of providing safety, support and healing for those who are experiencing domestic violence. With that, it seems an opportune time to take a minute to celebrate how far we've comeâ€”as an organization and within the movement.
In many ways, thankfully, domestic violence no longer carries the kind of stigma it did a generation ago. We hear about it in everyday discourse and it is now recognized as the social justice issue it is. Our success as an agency rests squarely on the shoulders of those who came before us who fought at the local and national level to make domestic violence a public issue and for changes in policy and practice needed to make it so. Additionally, leaders like Vice President Joe Biden, who drafted the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994, and President Obama, who made a proclamation to end domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 2012 help to bring recognition to the problem. Creating a safe and healthy public dialogue around the issue of intimate partner abuse, in all its formsâ€”physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual is a major step in our collective progress to address it and prevent it once and for all.
Examples of the healthy impact of these changes abound. Today our partnership with law enforcement is an essential part of our work (through our Emergency Response Program, we collaborated with the San Mateo County Sheriff and 16 police agencies on 3,553 cases last year), and our trauma informed approach is evident in every aspect of the services we offer, from our hotline and mental health counseling to our shelter and transitional housing services. Partnerships like these reflect the widespread public recognition of domestic violence as a serious issue and the willingness of those in a position to prevent it to do so.
At CORA this past year, we expanded coverage at our emergency shelter to include evening intakes for the first time. We also increased the number of peer support groups so that those who make that first brave call for help get it sooner.
We work to meet clients where they are and focus on the variety of needs they deem their most important. We were founded on the assumption that our clients are the experts in their circumstances and the care we provide stems from that foundation.
Needless to say, over the past few years, the uncertainty in our clients' lives has been reflected in the economy. But just as our clients take that first leap of faith when they call us, we have taken leaps of faith this year. In addition to continuing to meet the constantly increasing demand for services with 24/7 support and intervention services, we stretched ourselves to new levels to try to meet the immediate needs of our clients and the need for stability for the agency moving forward. And we could not have done that without your support.
As the economy continues to improve, CORA continues to expand its support network. In 2011, we answered over 5,000 calls on our Crisis Hotline and expanded our transitional housing program through the generosity of the County Department of Housing. And for the first time in 35 years, we added a new safe house that allows us to help more survivors and their children who need emergency shelter.
But amidst these accomplishments, there is still work to be done. Domestic violence intersects with a multitude of other social justice issues that still need to be challenged if we are to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence effectively. Perpetrators can still obtain firearms too easily, and the barriers to leaving abusive partners including the lack of affordable housing and childcare are still prevalent. Teen dating violence is on the rise.
But CORA continues to work towards our mission to provide safety, support and healing for individuals who experience abuse in an intimate relationship. Our community education efforts play a big role in bringing awareness to the impact of domestic violence on our community and, perhaps most importantly, our work towards prevention is stronger than ever. CORA held 100 community awareness events and presentations last year, including 32 specifically tailored for youth and high school students. These provide an opportunity for us to focus on target and at-risk groups and help to insure we are doing our part to educate the community to break the cycle of domestic violence.
As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, we remember why we're here and thank you for your continued support. Thank you for visiting our website. I encourage you to read on, to learn about the comprehensive services CORA offers for domestic violence victims and survivors, and explore ways you can become involved. I look forward to your becoming a part of CORA and a part of the solution.
- See more at: http://www.corasupport.org/about-cora/about-cora/#sthash.8F8QP2Pt.dpuf
Where We Work
What We Do
CORA is the only agency in San Mateo County solely dedicated to helping those affected by domestic violence. From counseling, to emergency housing, to legal assistance, our services are designed to provide safety, support, and healing.