Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk, CEO, Alternatives to Domestic Violence

Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk, CEO, Alternatives to Domestic Violence

Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk has served as CEO of Alternatives to Domestic Violence (ADV) since 1997. ADV is a multi-service agency serving western Riverside County. Since 1978, ADV has evolved and expanded to provide a continuum of services ranging from prevention, early intervention, to crisis intervention and has reached thousands of domestic violence victims and their families. ADV continues to be recognized statewide as a leader in progressive approaches to empowerment and advocacy for clients seeking to establish a healthy, violent-free environment in which to raise the next generation. Services are provided through locations in Riverside, Corona, Hemet, Beaumont and the Riverside Family Justice Center, in addition to a 60-bed residential facility and private counseling center. Information on all programs and services can be obtained by visiting www.alternativestodv.org.

Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk

Eliza Daniely-Woolfolk

ADV is a catalyst for change as it relates to the public’s perception of this issue and the resources allocated to address the expanded focus on mental, substance abuse, and health related impacts. It Is also important to highlight the role of the judicial system and the relationship of public policy to domestic violence. Each of these areas are examples of the need to address and have dialogue concerning the broader implications of domestic violence particularly when the discussion centers on children. Considerations should also be given to the cultural implications and the role of the faith community in being a beacon for change. We know that venture capitalists tend to invest in new ideas and innovative solutions. It is my position that we need to encourage the engagement of social investors who agree with the proposition, as we do, that domestic violence is not just an issue that impacts the lives of women – but that it has a much more expansive impact on families, local communities and by extension society.

We often say at our agency that ‘happiness ever after’ is a process for individuals and the families we serve and that the measurement of success is dependent upon many factors. It should be stated that positive outcomes do occur, however, it is equally important to note that the sequence of making a decision, choosing a certain path, and then taking action has a consequence. This overwhelming process speaks to the many reasons why women and men stay in abusive relationships. For persons who have decided to leave, ADV’s 60 bed emergency shelter and residential facility is available for them and designed to assist victims in moving from a state of crisis to one of stability and self-sufficiency. The facility offers a transitional living program, licensed child development center (for children exposed to trauma) and an adult training center onsite. These elements help families and are critical to their ability to move forward with their lives, notwithstanding the services at our emergency shelter, our outreach offices offers programs for women, men and children in additional to counseling and other varied services for families at our counseling center.
ADV did not get away unscathed from the decreases in revenue in recent years related to external factors including funding reductions from the state of California. This economic process required deliberate business decisions to better address the agency’s overall operations. These actions, while challenging, afforded a favorable time to reflect, assess, plan and move forward with specific attention to the agency’s longer term sustainability. We have taken concrete steps to be able to take advantage of the options in the post-recession future. Through the governance of our board of directors, the efforts of an amazing staff and the support of our community stakeholders and funding agencies, ADV has made the crucial pivot. And while the measurable change has been a slow process; we are encouraged by the results of our efforts.

ADV has been very effective in developing partnerships and productive collaborations to leverage its capacity and deliver quality services. As result of this approach, ADV jointly with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Riverside County Department of Public Social Services, and Riverside Police Department were awarded a three-year grant by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to provide enhanced training and services for women and men who have experienced abuse later in life. A similar effort, with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department also netted a grant award again, from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, to address arrest polices and enforcement of protective orders as it relates to domestic violence and child abuse cases.

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