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September 24, 2013 > SAVEÕs Breakfast Eye Opener sheds light on domestic violence

SAVEÕs Breakfast Eye Opener sheds light on domestic violence

By Sara Giusti

WeÕve all heard the stories: he pushes her around, lashes out. Or she hits him, belittles him. Both try to hide their bruises. Sometimes these stories make it to TV and the newspaper, too, the ones you canÕt believe, the ones that haunt.

What is more jarring is that these stories of domestic violence are not happening to someone else, in some other place. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, anywhere. According to Centers for Disease ControlÕs National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2010, more than one in three women and more than one in four men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes. Domestic violence is often defined as a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain power or control in an intimate relationship. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, reproductive, or financial abuse. Thankfully, help is out there; Fremont is home to a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end the destructive cycle.

Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) has been serving and advocating for those affected by domestic violence since 1976. No matter what age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, language spoken, or geographic location, SAVE will help victims to safety. SAVE offers an incredible array of free services: a 30-bed emergency shelter for women and children, 24-hour hotline, support groups, crisis counseling, and court advocacy are only a small part. Community outreach and education is critical to SAVE efforts including an annual Breakfast Eye Opener, now in its 11th year.

The Breakfast Eye Opener was created to shed more light on domestic violence. ÒNo one is immune [to domestic violence] and the more we shed light on it, the better we can reach those who need SAVE's help,Ó said Tina Fernandez, SAVEÕs Development and Communications Specialist. As a primary fundraiser, all proceeds support SAVEÕs free services. Indeed, the event is a true Òeye openerÓ to the reality and severity of domestic violence, featuring speakers from survivors, SAVE Board Members, and others.

Headline speaker Cindy Spickler, advocate for domestic violence awareness and prevention and an intimate partner abuse survivor, will share her story of survival and a motherÕs perspective of the effects abuse has on children. She will be joined by SAVE Board Member and President and CEO of ICE Safety Solutions Pam Isom, who will also speak about the effects domestic violence and abuse have on children. Speakers also include SAVE Board Member and Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Danielle London. Pauline Weaver, SAVE Board Member and a retired Alameda County Public Defender, is emceeing the Breakfast.

Unlike prior years, the Breakfast will not have a specific theme. ÒWe are focusing on raising awareness of domestic violence and the importance of prevention, with an emphasis on the lasting [and] devastating impact abuse has on victims and their families,Ó explained Fernandez. Moreover, ÒChildren who witness domestic violence are at much greater risk to either become abusers or be vulnerable to abuse when they are older and enter into intimate partner relationships of their own. One of SAVE's areas of concern is to help our clients and their children break the generational cycle of abuse,Ó she said.

The Eye Opener breakfast includes a cash raffle drawing, recognition of SAVEÕs Board, staff, volunteers and sponsors, and a moment of silence for those who have been affected by domestic violence.

If you can't make it to the Breakfast, but would still like to be involved, attendees will be Tweeting live from the event, sharing their reasons for attending along with their thoughts and reactions during the Breakfast. SAVE encourages attendees and supporters to sign up for Twitter beforehand. SAVEÕS Twitter is @SAVE_againstDV, and people will be using #SAVEbfast to tag Tweets from the event.

SAVEÕs Breakfast Eye Opener is designed to share new storiesÑstories full of hope and success, not harm and statistics.

SAVE Breakfast Eye Opener
7:30 a.m. Ð 9:00 a.m.
Friday, Sept 27
Hilton Newark/Fremont
39900 Balentine Dr., Newark
(510) 574-2250

$80 individual seats ($55 tax-deductible)

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