Monday, September 25, 2017

Dear Supporters,

We’ve reached a major milestone! Our 40th anniversary is here! In the last four decades, we have transformed the lives of so many women, men, children, and families in partnership with our community. The work of C4DP is an inspiration in our community and beyond. But today we want to thank you, our community of supporters, who are OUR inspiration. 

Leading up to this milestone year, we have expanded and beautified our emergency shelter facility. We went from a 16-bed shelter, which helped some 250 women and children a year, to a 30-bed, newly upgraded and ADA compliant shelter, adding almost 50% more bed space. At the heart and soul of these upgrades was an overwhelming level of community support that made this dream a reality. Our shelter is truly “a house that love built.” Thanks to the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Marin Rotary Clubs, Bothin Foundation, Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund, Marin Community Foundation, an additional 51 individual and community donors, and a state capital loan grant, our newly refurbished shelter has never looked better.  (Complete list of donors on sidebar) 

In C4DP’s long history of operation, and as evident by the recent shelter campaign, House That Love Built, we continue to be blessed in so many ways with your generosity.  

As you read this edition of PeaceWatch, we ask you to be mindful of the level of community effort that has been necessary to create C4DP’s successes. There is no greater truth from our point of view than it takes a village to end violence.  For all the ways you have been that village, we are grateful.     

Please join us on October 21, 2017 at the Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, as we gather together over great food, live music, and dancing to celebrate these past 40 years of transforming lives! Visit for tickets and information. 
We thank you, wish you peace, and hope to see you on October 21!  

Natasha Singh and Kim Tsuchimoto

C4DP Board Co-Chairs


A View from Up on the Balcony

Little did the founding mothers know when they incorporated in 1977 under the name Marin Abused Women’s Services (MAWS) that their vision would become the basis for a thriving, life-saving organization.  In the words of our champion founder, Honorable Judge Kay Tsenin, “We wanted a place where women could be safe, get the help they needed, and maybe gain the skills necessary to support a living wage.” 

Over time, we grew this vision, and this vision grew us.  Not willing to be idle or satisfied with addressing only the immediate needs of domestic violence victims, MAWS’ Board of Directors pioneered ongoing strategic planning processes to generate long-term frameworks for transformational social change.  The experience we gained working with more than 210,000 women, children, and men over the past 40 years has deepened our analyses of why violence against women exists and how violence is used by men and women in heterosexual, LGBTQ, and teen/young adult relationships. 

During our four decades of ever-expanding and deepening work, we have been at the forefront of developing several groundbreaking programs in the country: transitional housing, teen dating violence prevention training, an intervention program for men who are violent, sector liaisons as part of a comprehensive community response network to domestic violence, and, most recently, intervention and support services for teens and children exposed to domestic violence (a program called In This Together).  

Our strength and success is attributed, in part, to our core commitment to staying true to our organizational “north star” – being survivor-defined.   The experiences of individuals impacted by domestic violence continue to guide us to the next evolutionary step towards fulfilling our organization’s purpose. The recent growth and expansion of In This Together, for example, can be traced back to what survivors told us they needed: support for healing their relationships with their children, and support for their young teens to learn new ways to build healthy and safe relationships. 
In 2010, we changed our name to Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP) because we wanted our name to reflect our vision of transforming our world into a place where domestic peace is possible – and where all relationships and families are healthy and violence-free. As our new services have developed over the past few years, we have witnessed, and are witnessing, a deep healing of families that will forever alter their futures.  Kate Kain, Deputy Executive Director, who has been leading the development of these services, said it best: “Our In This Together group therapy program for children and their non-abusing parent has moved the needle from families being traumatized by fear and hurt from violence to a place of renewal, trust, and joy.  To see the transformation of these children and their parents as they free themselves from the abuser-controlled family system is nothing short of breathtaking.” 

Our dedication to moving the needle forward these past 40 years has fueled and deepened our capacity and commitment to transforming lives, one individual, one family, and one community at a time. In reflecting on our four-decade long journey of saving lives, we remember all those who have been impacted by domestic violence, whose experiences continue to teach us how to grow a world where relationships based on domestic peace are the new norm. And we thank and celebrate each and every person who has been a part of this journey with us.

Donna Garske
Executive Director

Forty years. Decades of transforming lives.


In 1976 founding members conducted an investigation of domestic violence in Marin
demonstrating that the police departments have NO records of family violence in Marin.
  • MAWS receives its tax-exempt status as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and began a 24-hour hotline that received 268 calls the first year.
  • Short-term emergency housing was coordinated through private homes and the Marin Housing Center and in 1977 MAWS opened the doors of its first shelter for abused women and their children. One year later, MAWS purchased a facility with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • In 1980, MAWS secured office space in central San Rafael. By 1983, MAWS personnel totaled 10 full-time and five part-time positions.
  • In 1980, MAWS began one of the nation’s first Men’s Programs to re-educate men to stop their violent behavior and activated a men’s hotline to deter men from engaging in violence.   ManKind
  • In 1983, MAWS purchased a 10-unit complex to establish one of the nation’s first transitional housing complexes for battered women and their children.
  • Read one of our first newsletters! mawswatch_1983_march.pdf
  • In 1985, MAWS received funding from the California Office of Criminal Justice Planning to develop a curriculum called “Relationship Abuse Prevention Program” and to create a video, “When Love Hurts.’’ Both were one of the first in the nation to address the prevention of dating abuse for high school students.
  • MAWS’ programs and services received national television and radio coverage. MAWS’ Men’s Program was highlighted in a BBC documentary. 


MAWS began to work with the national domestic violence organizations to draft legislation to protect the rights of abused women and their children.
  • In 1992, Transforming Communities: Creating Safety and Justice for Women and Girls was started. This model program works with the community to end domestic violence through new prevention programs.
  • In 1994, MAWS received $100,000 worth of pro bono services to create an educational video “Beyond Awareness to Action: Ending Abuse.”
  • MAWS coauthored and helped pass the Federal Violence Against Women Act in 1994.
  • In 1996, MAWS received the Special Achievement Innovations Award in Maternal and Child Health sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Branch of the California Department of Health Services.
  • The Community Oriented Policing Services Project (COPS) was created in 1997 in partnership with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department to implement a more coordinated criminal justice response to batterers.
  • MAWS received the 1997 National Marshall Award for Excellence in Violence Prevention.
  • In 1997, California Department of Health Services selected MAWS to establish Transforming Communities Technical Assistance Training (TC-TAT), a statewide technical assistance and training net work to foster community prevention.


By 1998, MAWS employed more than 25 people and the organization’s operating budget approached $1.9 million. Annually more than 5,000 women, children, and men were served by MAWS, and thousands more through community work.
  • In 1999, through funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, securing funding from The Grants to Encourage Arrest Program, MAWS initiated the Women’s Community Advocacy Project (WCAP) which included a funded partnership with the District Attorney’s Office.
  • In 2000-2001, MAWS purchased and renovated the 16,000 sq. ft. A Street location. After moving into it in January 2002, the location was officially named the Center for Safety, Justice and Equality. Space is rented to four other “like minded organizations.”
  • Also in 2001, MAWS launched Womankind, a 52 week educational program certified by Marin County Probation Department for women to learn to stop their violence.
  • From 2000-2003, the Healthy and Equal Relating curriculum was developed, test-piloted and launched. At least 78% of all the teen participants did something new to respond to and or prevent verbal and or physical abuse as a result of the information provided.
  • In 2003 after a ten year collaboration with decommissioned Hamilton Air Force Base, MAWS established 10 units of transitional housing which doubled MAWS capacity to house victims and their families.
  • In 2003, MAWS gained national attention as the recipient of the Mary Byron Foundation’s Celebrating Solutions Award, honored for the Mankind Program and its work addressing the root cause of domestic violence.
  • In 2005, MAWS cofounded and co-chaired bringing the Respect for All Collaborative (RAC) to Marin County Middle Schools. This collaboration of nonprofits works with anti-bullying and violence prevention strategies and programs.
  • Also in 2005, MAWS formed Athletes as Allies, with the National Football League Player’s Association Regional Director, to train Marin County high school coaches and athletes in our Healthy and Equal Relating curriculum.
  • In a two year span, TC-TAT provided training and support to over 1,000 faith leaders and prevention advocates statewide, conducted trainings and technical assistance to 14 domestic violence state coalitions, and reached over 200 people in eight trainings statewide through the Preventing Violence Against Women with Disabilities project.
  • Mankind statistics show that 77% of our graduates on probation do not get re-arrested for domestic violence 4 years after graduation. These are some of the best statistics in the country for Batterer’s Intervention Programs.
  • By 2007, MAWS has directly supported over 130,000 women and 28,000 men through their programs, with a budget of $3.2 million and staffed by 45 employees.

     MAWS 30


After MAWS’ 30th Anniversary celebration, the organization furthered its goal to increase community engagement to end domestic violence, now and forever:
  • In 2009, C4DP received a three-year Recovery Act grant for Second Step to increase economic empowerment for transitional housing participants.
  • In 2010, MAWS adopted a new name, Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP), to better reflect the depth and breadth of the organization as a whole.
  • Also in 2010, C4DP spearheaded formation of the 19-member Bay Area Domestic Violence Shelter Collaboration to have a larger regional impact.  The Collaboration has gone on to implement several innovative projects, and C4DP remains the backbone organization. In 2015, the Collaboration received the Revolutionary Advocate Award from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.MYS
  • In 2011, C4DP founded Marin Youth Services. C4DP and its partner Huckleberry Youth Programs (HYP) received three years of funding from the federal Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to develop comprehensive, age-appropriate direct intervention and prevention services for youth and young adults (ages 13-24) impacted by dating/domestic violence.  Marin Youth Services includes a youth hotline, as well as high school and college youth advisory committees that produce prevention campaigns to end dating abuse. 
  • In 2012, C4DP launched a Facebook app and outreach campaign, “DV. It’s Not OK,” to promote healthy relationships and engage the community in committing to the Individual Peace Agreement.
  • In 2013, C4DP and Marin County District Attorney's Office celebrated 15 years of living up to the promise of a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence, in partnership with Marin County government, criminal justice system, and institutional partners.  The CCR Network produced more than 40 changes and additions in policies and responses to domestic violence in Marin County. 
  • In 2013, C4DP completed the first phase of the shelter rehabilitation and upgrade project, making it a welcoming, ADA-compliant home with 20 beds.
  • In 2014, C4DP received Marin Democratic Party’s Alex Forman Peace Award. While the award is usually given to honorees outspoken against foreign wars, C4DP was selected because peace among nations requires starting with the environment surrounding children and families.
  • In 2014, C4DP launched the Children and Youth Division. C4DP was one of 9 to receive funding from OVW to develop services for children exposed to domestic violence.  C4DP created “In This Together,” a group therapy program that served 154 women and children in the program’s first year.
  • In 2015, C4DP won the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership’s Heart of Marin Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership.
  • In 2015, C4DP started the final phase of the shelter upgrade project. With a generous gift from Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, and $185,000 from community donors, C4DP has converted office space into 10 additional beds and build an office studio for staff. The emergency shelter has grown to 30 beds, increasing bed space by almost 50% over 5 years.
  • In 2016, C4DP expanded the number of individuals reached through training and outreach by 31% to more than 14,000 individuals in Marin.
  • By 2017, C4DP has responded to the needs of more than 181,000 individuals affected by domestic violence, as well as more than 29,000 men who have been violent. The budget has grown to $4 million, with 45 employees and more than 100 volunteers working to create domestic peace in Marin and beyond.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dear Supporters:

Last year’s PeaceWatch cover letter from Executive Director, Donna Garske, focused on “What a Difference a Name Makes.” The organization’s name change from Marin Abused Women’s Services (MAWS) to Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP) expresses our vision towards the future and our commitment to domestic peace. With the adoption of this new name, it has been our priority to broaden our reach and dive deeper in our work with those impacted by domestic violence.

In this newsletter, we showcase several areas where those “deep dive” impacts are being made, including in our new “In This Together” therapeutic program with children who have witnessed domestic violence and their survivor parents. Prevention and outreach efforts with teens experiencing dating abuse have expanded to include a county-wide media campaign, and we have just launched a marketing effort to engage affluent women in seeking help from C4DP. Building on our tradition of profiling staff who make the powerful work of C4DP come alive, in this edition you will meet Luz Alvarado, a key member of our management team whose dedication and passion leads our Community Advocacy Program. We also highlight success stories from the “StartUP” fund.

We sincerely hope you will join us at our annual free breakfast event, “Changing the Future for Children” on Friday, October 14 at 8:15 AM at Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Come celebrate our work with children, hear inspirational stories of children C4DP has helped, and witness the multigenerational impact of C4DP’s work.

Lastly, we look forward to 2017, as it marks our historic 40th anniversary of working together to end domestic violence. It takes all of us, across every gender and community, every age group and social class, actively working together as an undivided force, to end domestic violence. We thank you and wish you peace,

Natasha Singh &  Kim Tsuchimoto

C4DP Board Co-Chairs