Category Archives: Local Service Organizations

NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services and Napa Valley College Team Up for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April 15, 2019
For Immediate Release
Media Contacts:
Karen Calhoun (707) 252 – 3687

NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services and Napa Valley College Team Upfor Sexual Assault Awareness Month

(Napa, CA – April 15, 2019) – Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), recognized each April, aims to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.   NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse services is committed to reducing incidents of sexual violence in Napa County while providing victims and survivors with support services.  In recognizing that sexual violence is a community issue, NEWS will be engaging the community in prevention and awareness campaigns throughout the month of April.  This year, NEWS partnered with the Napa Valley College SAVE Taskforce to bring two notable SAAM events to the college campus.

“What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation comes to Napa

A survivor art installation entitled “What Were You Wearing?” will be available for viewing from April 2nd to April 26th on the Napa Valley College campus. The installation is open to the public and will be displayed in the lobby of the 1500 and 1300 buildings.   In collaboration with NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services and the Napa Valley College SaVE Taskforce, this exhibit is the first of its kind in Napa.

“What Were You Wearing?” has been curated on college campuses across the country featuring outfits recreated from the stories of student sexual assault survivors.  The project is inspired by a poem written by Dr. Mary Simmerling entitled What I Was Wearing, which details the outfit she was wearing when she was sexually assaulted: a white t-shirt and a knee-length denim skirt. Her poem will be on display throughout the showing.

Napa Valley College and NEWS are fortunate to present this recreation with permission from the original creators and the stories utilized were donated by survivors and used with their consent.  This installation provides a tangible response to one of our culture’s most pervasive sexual assault myths and asks participants to understand that sexual assault is never about the clothing.  The act of shedding those clothes is never enough to bring peace or comfort to survivors.  This violation is not simply woven into the fabric of the material, it is a part of the survivor’s new narrative.

“If only ending sexual violence was as easy as changing our clothes.  Instead it requires all of us to evaluate what enables us as individuals and as a society to ask, “what were you wearing?” in the first place.  NEWS is honored for the opportunity to collaborate with Napa Valley College and bring this powerful survivor art installation to the campus.  The hope is that it will be a learning experience where those viewing the exhibit will formulate healthy attitudes and beliefs regarding the common “clothing causes sexual violence” sexual assault myth.” – said Heather Bailie, SAVS Outreach and Education Program Manager.

One of the goals of the Installation is for participants to see themselves reflected in not only the outfits, but also the stories.  This realization moves us away from blaming the victim for violence and places responsibility where it belongs, on those who cause harm.  The hope is that survivors who experience the Installation feel heard, validated, believed, and know that the assault was not their fault.

“Sexual violence is a very real problem on every college campus.  It is important for us as a college and Napa as a community to continue to do its part to fight against it.  Napa Valley College is excited to partner with NEWS on bringing the powerful and impactful “What Were you Wearing?” Survivor Art

Installation to Napa.  The hope is to continue to open people’s eyes about sexual violence, remind them that this problem exists everywhere, and help victims know they are not alone and that we support them and their battle to rise above.”- said Amber Wade, Chief of Police, Napa Valley College.

Still We Rise Survivor Art Exhibit and Reception

Join NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services for an artful journey of healing and empowerment in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  On Tuesday, April 30th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the Napa Valley College Community Room #1731, an art exhibit and reception will celebrate the courage and resilience of local survivors.

United through a shared mission of rising above trauma, survivor art offers a voice to the unspoken realities of our time.  Participants from NEWS’ Writing Ourselves Whole writing workshop and the Kintsugi Healing Art workshop will display their artwork and artwork submitted by local survivors and allieswill be on display.

At the reception, NEWS will recognize champions in the Napa community who demonstrate outstanding service to end sexual violence and support survivors.  Because of their hard work and extraordinary commitment to survivors of sexual violence, NEWS is honoring many individuals from the Napa community with Teal Ribbon Awards.

Still We Rise Survivors Art Exhibit and Reception is free to the public and complimentary food and wine will be served.

According to US National Statistics –

  • One in five women and one in seventy one men in the US will be raped at some time in their lives.
  • One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
  • 20% – 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college.
  • Rape is the most underreported crime. 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, NEWS and the Napa Valley College SaVE Taskforce are collaborating to provide advanced advocacy for victims of crime.  They both share an interest in and are providing preventative and supportive services to those impacted by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault regardless of gender, race, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, etc.  This collaboration increases access to services and improves awareness on campus and in the community.

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent).A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.  Sexual violence can be carried out by other students, school employees or third parties.   All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.

About NEWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services

NEWS was formed in 1981 when a group of community members realized there was no safe place for women and children to go when they were fleeing abuse at home.  Volunteers had been taking battered women and their children into their own homes to protect them, and the need for a safe shelter was clear.  Our founders worked in partnership with local leaders to acquire a house where women and children could find safety and support, and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

Today NEWS has grown into a strong organization with a dedicated group of staff and volunteer domestic violence and sexual assault counselors, providing direct client services as well as shelter 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to approximately 1200 people each year.  We work on prevention through education and outreach programs.

The NEWS Board of Directors is a group of leaders from a wide cross-section of the Napa community, providing governance and support to help NEWS meet its mission.  They give their time, talents, andsupport to keep NEWS going strong, always guided by the belief that everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

About Napa Valley College SaVE Taskforce

Members of the Napa Valley College community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence.  The SaVE Taskforce consists of both campus and community representatives who meet monthly to discuss policy and bring information to the campus regarding sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking, dating violence and sexual assault.  The SaVE Taskforce endeavors that students and employees receive support service awareness, on-going education, prevention information and develops campus programming intended to stop sexual violence.


Heather Bailie, SAVS Outreach and Education Program Manager
1141 Pear Tree Lane Ste. 220
Napa, Ca 94559
Phone: 707 – 252 – 3687

Amber Wade, Chief of Police, Napa Valley College
2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway
Napa, Ca 94558
Phone: 707 – 256 – 7771

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NEWS – Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse Services

24 hour Help Line 707.255.NEWS (6397)


NEWS is dedicated to providing safety, hope, healing and empowerment for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Equally, NEWS is committed to promoting safe communities and social change through prevention, intervention, education, and advocacy.

NEWS believes that those who have become victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse have the power to strengthen and heal. Every day we bring respect, understanding, and resources to survivors, because we believe with kindness and support, we can create peaceful homes and a healthy community.


NEWS was formed in 1981 when a group of community members realized there was no safe place for women and children to go when they were fleeing abuse at home. Volunteers had been taking battered women and their children into their own homes to protect them, and the need for a safe shelter was clear. Our founders worked in partnership with local leaders to acquire a house where women and children could find safety and support, and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

Today NEWS has grown into a strong organization with a dedicated group of staff and volunteer domestic violence and sexual assault counselors, providing direct client services as well as shelter 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to approximately 1300 people each year. NEWS’ Programs include Court Advocacy, Housing, Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Services, Sexual Assault Victims Services, Support Groups, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Advocacy. We work on prevention through education and outreach programs.

Support for NEWS comes from many sources. The largest portion of our funding comes from grants from federal, state, and local sources such as the Auction Napa Valley. Our community fundraising events make up part of our budget, and we depend on the generosity of individuals and community groups who support us in our mission.


Office Address: 1141 Pear Tree Lane, Ste. 220, Napa CA 94558
Office: 707.252.3687

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Uniting to Protect Immigrant Rights

From the Opinion section of the Napa Valley Register:

  • Harjit Khaira

Women’s March Napa Valley held yet another impassioned community town hall meeting last Sunday at the First United Methodist Church with a distinguished 10-member panel and a respectable audience.

Each panelist touched on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) raids that are stoking fear in the hearts of our immigrant populace, particularly among those who are undocumented.

Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza stressed the need to work together and promote a message of unity while some audience members demanded more action from local officials and particularly from the Chamber of Commerce, the Napa Valley Vintners, wineries, grapegrowers and the vast hospitality industry.

Retired lawyer and audience member Preston Shackleford passionately delivered a message beseeching these industries to speak up and step up to help immigrants, regardless of their documentation status, as these very immigrants are the ones who enable such industries to thrive.

She expressed the need to protect vulnerable immigrants and held that once ICE is at an undocumented immigrant’s door, their rights are gone and they may not get to say goodbye to their family or have proper legal due process.

The current immigration crisis was interpreted as allegorizing “Napa’s second earthquake” with Shackleford emphasizing the need for strategic tactics by creating “sanctuary churches” to protect families and vehemently summoning the community to rise up as it did after the last earthquake.

Audience member Sharon Macklin followed with a timely question to the panel, “Who have you reached out to in the industry?

If you haven’t, can you do so?” Supervisor Pedroza answered that he would try to have more of a “direct ask” of these industries and how they can be more proactive.

Of particular importance was the openness of both Napa Chief of Police Steve Potter and Napa Sheriff John Robertson who attended in full uniform to explain law enforcement’s policies of never asking for immigration status when interviewing people in our community. Robertson pointed out that Napa is special and unique because “we truly work together with the community with open discussion.” Steve Potter thoughtfully added that they try to be present at community events and encourage all people, including minorities to attend and speak up at such Town Hall meetings. He has been witnessing much fear in children who are afraid of their parents being detained and deported.

Local pediatrician Joseph Carrillo added that he has seen an increase amongst children suffering anxiety, behavioral issues and not wanting to go to school. He believes that much of the trauma children are feeling and experiencing is due to the fear surrounding possible deportation, and unfortunately most physician offices do not have social workers or therapists. He touched on therapy for children in schools through puppetry to help them deal with fear and create a safe space.

Both Potter and Robertson talked about local law enforcement’s efforts in creating trust with local communities and all neighborhoods.

Potter relayed to the audience the difficulties they face when ICE goes on a raid and represents themselves as “local police.” ICE essentially takes advantage of the trust that the local law enforcement has worked hard to build.

ICE uses a ruse to get people to come out of their homes to arrest them.

Robertson doubled down emphasizing that when ICE is portrayed as homeland security in the media with their uniforms boldly declaring, “POLICE,” it diminishes the trust between the immigrant community and the local police. Robertson and Potter wear their uniforms with pride and want to educate and help immigrant communities and build deeper trust.

Melissa Patrino, executive director or Puertas Abiertas, a community resource center working hand in hand with Latinos has remained steadfast and active in responding to the vulnerable needs of the community.

She commented that ICE is a rogue agency with a list of people they are targeting and will persist with their raids even if it is a sanctuary city. Patrino discussed the difficulty of obtaining legal status. Most undocumented immigrants are hard-working, good people who have been in the U.S. for decades paying taxes.

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Yet it remains a difficult and arduous road to obtaining legal status for most. Despite anyone’s stance on immigration, it is reasonable to agree that all people should be treated with dignity, respect and with due process despite their immigration status.

Irit Weir, organizer of the Women’s March Napa Valley, announced that if anyone knows undocumented immigrants in critical danger of deportation, an Advocacy Authorization form can be obtained from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office/website.

It can be submitted to his office or to Puertas Abiertas. Potter added that if ICE is at one’s front door claiming to be local police, the local police dispatch number (257-9223) can be called to confirm whether the local police are in fact at their door. Napa local police stressed the desire to partner with neighborhoods to create dialogue and openness.

If community members want to host a gathering of locals, they are happy to attend and talk to all people.

The panel was markedly diverse, with Karla Marquez (Dream Team Organizer), Gabriela Ramirez (Vice Principal of Napa Valley Language Academy, NVLA), Liliana Navarro (Latinos Unidos) and Melissa Patrino (Executive Director of Puertas Abiertas) sharing their raw stories and adversities they overcame. Alfredo Pedroza (Napa County Supervisor) and Jill Techel (Napa Mayor) stressed the need to create more dialogue and a community of problem solvers. Madeline Feldon (attorney for the International Institute of the Bay Area, IIBA) and Dr. Joseph Carrillo (local pediatrician) both discussed the stress and anxiety they have observed in children with undocumented family members.

They offered their respective legal and medical services to aid those in need.

Steve Potter (Napa Chief of Police) and John Robertson (Napa Sheriff) have increasingly taken a more active role in reaching out to the Latino population and being accessible at this critical time in our seemingly divided nation.

Harjit Khaira is a writer from Napa and a participant in the Women’s March.

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Welcome Suscol Intertribal Council!

Suscol Intertribal Council Logo


Suscol Council is a community-based organization reactivated in 1992. It is a 501(c) 3, not-for profit TAX ID#68-0128978, located in the Napa Valley. The primary mission is preservation of Native American traditions & culture. To further this goal development of Native American land project in Chiles-Pope Valley, located in the Northeastern part of Napa County, CA. “Suskol House” is a sustainable eco-friendly, 20 acres of open space; as well as preserving and protecting Native American sacred sites, culture and traditions. Suscol Council is dedicated to preserving human rights for indigenous people by networking with other NGOs around the world.

This is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited areas in North America and as there is no longer a land-based tribe in this county due to historical, mass relocations and detrimental exposure to diseases. Suscol Council seeks to bring healing between existing population and people who historically inhabited Napa Valley and nearby counties.


• Since 1992 Suscol Council has developed local educational outreach programs to public schools (K-14) and general community clubs and organizations. Suscol Council develops contracts from organizations that need to bridge with California tribes or urban Indians. A mentorship program is in place to help California Native people make connections with agencies, foundations, and corporations. Also to educate the general public about contemporary and pre-historic realities of California’s first peoples.
It is currently addressing the needs of Native Americans “to create a safe retreat area for recovery in post-colonial period.”
• In 1998 Suscol Council purchased twenty acres in Pope Valley, which is in the Northeastern part of Napa County, to develop a land based project for tribal people.
• 2009 Building permits established
• 2010 Three pro-types earth plaster, strawbale camping lodges completed.
• 2013 Outdoor kitchen refurbished.
• Once “Suskol House” is built out it will continue to be used as a incubator model for sustainable gardening; sustainable off the grid housing. The continued use of social media for public exposure and education about experimental construction such as Bamcore; bamboo pre-fabricated housing with Fluid stone and waffle mat foundation as green sustainable, non-toxic ZERO carbon footprint. Sixteen of the twenty acres is also to preserve open space. Share art, cultural traditions for tribal people and others who have an interest and respect for Native American culture, traditions and art.
• Since 1992 successful production of open to the public Native American cultural event Pow-wow with an average of 1,800 visitors per day.
• Since 1996 produces a Native American Art and Wine Auction offers Native American art, food and music.

Community Served:
General public; schools (K-14); community based organizations; Native American communities in North California region.


Mailing: PO Box 5386, Napa CA 94581
Physical: 575 Lincoln Ave #215, Napa CA 94558

Regularly Scheduled Meetings/Events:
See website for details
Weekly classes in Napa office.
Monthly crafts classes in Napa office

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Urgent Appeal to Support Napa’s Immigrant Families

Many of Napa County’s immigrant families—documented and undocumented—a are IN CRISIS and are relying on Puertas Abiertas for help to achieve legal status. We have started a GoFundMe campaign to support immigrant familes in multiple ways.

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In 2017, Puertas Abiertas has committed and increased services to include immigration assistance and mental health and wellness programs. Our clients are finding themselves under great stress in this politically charged time. Their future in our community is uncertain.

“My three kids were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and we hope their status won’t be in jeopardy with our new president. I cannot imagine how they will feel if they are forced to go back to being undocumented. Some families will be in a very difficult position because of their differing immigration status within the family and the cost of becoming documented. What will happen to our kids?” –Leonardo

The need is unprecedented. The more quickly we can help people achieve legal immigration status, the better!

Since the election, we are averaging three visits and calls PER DAY with clients asking for help with their immigration status including how to become a U.S. citizen, renewing a green card or applying for DACA protection for their children.

  • $725 will pay for an individual to apply for citizenship ($640 application fee + $85 background check). Many are eligible for citizenship that cannot afford the cost.
  • $425 will pay for a legal resident to renew their green card. Currently, legal immigrants need help to renew their status!
  • $495 will pay for a 2-year Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. Children are at risk of deportation because their families cannot afford the fees!

We have also received requests from women seeking counsel, financial assistance, and support as their husbands, fathers, brothers, and uncles have been abruptly deported. Left without a breadwinner, these women are left to pick up the pieces and raise their families alone, and are afraid of what’s to come.

  • $1500 will pay for emergency rent for a family in need due to sudden deportation.
  • $250 will buy food emergency for a family for two weeks.

To support our immigrant families, we have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help eligible residents pursue legal status, and to support families impacted by deportation. Please help if you can! No amount is too small.

We don’t need to tell you that these are our friends and neighbors, our employees and landscapers and housekeepers, our children’ schoolmates that are in fear and at risk.

We urge you to show your support for our community!


Please join us in taking a stand to raise necessary funds to assist these individuals seeking assistance at Puertas Abiertas. Help us to help them. The time is now, our request for your support is urgent.

Together, we can support Latino residents in need that live, work, and contribute and to the community.

Since 2005, Puertas has been providing essential services for those in need.

  • In 2015, Puertas counseled over 1,700 people who required access to health care as well as social and educational services.
  • 94% of clients identify as Latino.
  • Immigrants in Napa County contribute over $1 billion to the local economy; however, 72 percent have an annual income of less than $25,000.
  • Only 30% of Napa County’s immigrants have become citizens. Citizenship is correlated with higher incomes, higher educational for children of immigrants, higher proficiency in English and more active engagement in community affairs.

About Puertas Abiertas
Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center (PACRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Napa that has been operating since 2005. The mission is to work hand in hand with Latinos to inspire and achieve healthy living, self-sufficiency, and opportunities for leadership and community engagement. The program model emphasizes community collaboration to facilitate access to service providers. The education programs and case mentoring activities help families move towards self-sufficiency and stability.

Our Center keeps its doors open for extended hours including weekends, and acts as an access point by families to services in the community. Culturally sensitive intake and mentoring activities help families determine the appropriate services needed, ease their access, and follow-up to ensure services were received.

Over 1700 families are served every year through on-site programs and referrals.

Puertas Abiertas received the 2013 Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year award by the Napa Chamber of Commerce.

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Puertas Abiertas


Puertas Abiertas (Open Doors) Community Resource Center works hand in hand with Latinos to inspire and achieve healthy living, self-sufficiency, and opportunities for leadership and community engagement.


The Napa Valley Community is a rich tapestry of traditions and cultures living in harmony with opportunity and respect for all.


On May 30th, Puertas Abiertas received the 2013 Outstanding Nonprofit of the Year Award by the Napa Chamber of Commerce and Mechanics Bank.

Puertas Abiertas was formed in 2004 by St. John the Baptist Catholic Church as Spirit of Unity in Napa with the goal to bridge the gap between service providers and the Latino community by bringing together resources and by providing culturally sensitive intake and guided referrals. In 2005, Puertas Abiertas became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and in 2007 the Community Resource Center opened its doors on Napa Street. On average, over 600 families are served by Puertas Abiertas every year.

Our doors are open to anyone – regardless of race, ethnicity, language or creed. The goal of the programs at Puertas Abiertas is to empower families to make positive changes in their behaviors by accessing health and social services, improving education skills, becoming more engaged in the community, and by achieving self-sufficiency. In order to reach these goals, we adapt and realign services with partners (public, private and nonprofit sectors) to meet the most pressing needs of the underserved community in our county. Some of our programs include Case Mentoring, English as a Second Language (ESL), Free Tax Preparation, Civic Engagement, Mobile Mexican Passport/ID Clinic, Senior Support Group, College Readiness Program,  Basic Computer Skills and Plaza Comunitaria (Spanish literacy program). Over the course of the last 10 years of working in Napa County, Puertas Abiertas has built a strong and continually expanding network of partners. We joined efforts with other nonprofits in leading key initiatives including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), Bank On Napa Valley, and Citizenship Legal Services among others.

We are really fortunate to do this work in a community like ours, and the 2013 Nonprofit of the Year Award inspires our dedicated team to continue working towards a healthier, stronger and more engaged community. For everyone who has believed, encouraged, donated, volunteered and supported our mission, our most sincere Thank You!

Visit our website for more details.

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What “Defunding” Planned Parenthood Really Means

House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, have released a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that includes a provision to specifically block people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers — including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD/STI testing and treatment.

Blocking patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood would have a devastating impact on people and communities across America. Despite this impact — and despite the fact that an unfair policy already prohibits federal insurance from covering abortion — the anti-abortion politicians behind the legislation are hell bent on attacking Planned Parenthood.

Every year, 2.5 million people rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services. , and studies consistently show that proposals to “defund” and shut down Planned Parenthood clinics will result in people losing access to health care. As experts have repeatedly said, Planned Parenthood is the only place for many of people to get care, and other providers cannot take on those patients.

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