The justice gap: SLO leads the county in reported rapes, yet few perpetrators end up in a courtroom
March 1, 2018
"As the #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum, SLO increasingly finds itself confronting the issue of sexual assault and rape within its borders. In many cases, investigations didn't result in criminal charges or prosecutions. New Times analyzed police logs, court cases, and other public records and found that, despite recording more reported rapes than any other law enforcement agency in the county, only a handful of SLOPD's cases resulted in felony criminal charges being filed in SLO County Superior Court.
"Jennifer Adams is all too familiar with the stumbling blocks that make it hard for sexual assault victims to report their attacks. Adams is the executive director for RISE SLO. RISE doesn't require victims who seek their services to report their assaults to law enforcement. Instead they provide information on how the process will move forward if they do and offer support to those who choose to take that path. Some survivors find the reporting process empowering, while others find it too difficult. Adams noted that victims have the ability to stop participating in the investigation at any time, which can halt a case or end it altogether."
Soul Yoga & Morgan Family Foundation support local survivors with a yoga marathon benefiting RISE
February 18, 2018
Local yoga studio Soul Yoga hosted a yoga marathon with benefits supporting RISE. All classes were provided on a donation basis, with all proceeds benefiting RISE programs and services. The Morgan Family Foundation will be matching every dollar donated.
Community Foundation Grant Supports Survivors in SLO County
February 2, 2018
RISE has received a $10,000 grant from the Opportunity to Thrive Grant Program and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. This grant will be used to help survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence overcome barriers to their self-sufficiency. RISE’s case management program focuses on helping survivors gain self-sufficiency and independence while empowering them to heal from trauma, secure safe housing for themselves and their children, and live violence-free lives in the community.
This year The Community Foundation marks its 20th year of supporting the County with grants and scholarships totaling more than $30 million over 20 years. For more information on The Community Foundation or any funds, call 543-2323 or log on to www.cfsloco.org.
Panel of Local Men Discuss Sexual Harassment in SLO County
January 18, 2018
A panel discussion—titled Men’s Place in the #MeToo Movement—will address sexual harassment in SLO County and ways that community members, men and women alike, can get involved in supporting the Silence Breakers in our community and putting an end to sexual harassment. The event is hosted by RISE and the SLO Noor Foundation. Panelists include: Abe Lincoln, Executive Director - SLO Noor Foundation; Dan Dow, District Attorney - City of SLO; Dan Rivoire, City Council Member - City of SLO; Matias Bernal, Interim Associate Director - RISE SLO County; Nick Bilich, Corodinator - Men in Masculinity Program.
The event is aimed at fostering a local dialogue on how men can engage with and actively pursue the ideas embodied in the #MeToo Movement. The panelists will open conversation and speak to concrete steps men can take to participate and support survivors in their lives.
RISE Launches Year-End Fundraising Campaign
November 17, 2017
RISE is proud to announce the launch of its latest campaign featuring the stories of sexual assault survivors from San Luis Obispo County and the positive impact RISE has had in their lives. In addition to the featured survivor stories, community members are also invited to share their own stories and create personalized fundraising webpages. The campaign highlights the real-life experiences of survivors in the community and the services RISE provides to support them, with the goal of raising awareness as well as $40,000 by December 31, 2017. Donations will be matched up to $10,000 thanks to the generosity of long-time RISE supporters Lance and Nina Holt.
2017 RISE Up Award Winners Recognized at Wine Women & Shoes
September 10, 2017
The RISE Up Awards recognize excellence in community service supporting RISE’s sexual assault and intimate partner violence programs.
The 2017 RISE Up Award winners are Deputy District Attorney Kelly Mandarino, RISE Up Respect Award winner; RISE staff member Ana Chavez, RISE Up Inspire Award winner; K.Jons Diamonds & Gems and owners Stan and Mary Sherwin, RISE Up Support Award winner; Grizzly Youth Academy, RISE Up Empower Award winner; and RISE past Board President and Wine Women & Shoes co-chair Lisa Bruce, RISE Up Legacy Award winner.
RISE presented the awards at the Wine Women & Shoes event on September 10 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort.
Local "Sole Men" Raise Over $10,000 for RISE
September 10, 2017
Together 38 local men raised over $10,000 for the Wine Women & Shoes event benefiting RISE. They competed for the "King of Sole" award presented at the event on September 10 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, where Tim Flaherty was crowned King of Sole for raising the most funds: $1,851!
You can see all our wonderful 2017 Sole Men and their fundraising efforts at winewomenandshoes.com/RISE. All proceeds from the event and Sole Men fundraising efforts benefit RISE programs that support survivors of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence and their loved ones.
Men's Individual & Group Therapy
July 10, 2017
The new RISE Workshop on Sexual Trauma for Men starts Tuesday, September 5, 5:30 - 7 pm, at our SLO office, and will meet weekly on Tuesdays.
Individual counseling is also available. Male and female therapists are available on request.
RISE Launches Public Awareness Campaign
July 6, 2017
RISE is proud to announce the launch of its latest public awareness campaign focused on the relationship between health and experiences of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence.
“Traditionally at RISE, we focus on the mental and emotional health of our clients and the physical safety afforded by our emergency shelters,” said Jane Pomeroy, Associate Director. “We are excited to partner with local healthcare providers to address the underlying physical health problems associated with gender-based violence and to connect patients with needed community resources. This is a public health issue, and we look forward to strengthening our partnerships in the healthcare field.”
In addition to a billboard at the corner of Monterey and Pepper Streets in San Luis Obispo, RISE has launched two resource webpages on RISEslo.org/health designed for survivors and healthcare providers.
RISE advocates are available 24 hours a day on the RISE support line 855-886-RISE (7473) and are ready to respond by phone and in-person to hospitals and doctors’ offices to support patients and healthcare providers.
New Domestic Violence Support Groups
February 23, 2017
RISE is now offering two additional support groups for survivors of domestic violence at our Paso Robles office.
New LGBT Support Group
February 21, 2017
The new RISE support group "Cultivating Healthy & Safe LGBT Relationships" starts Thursday, February 23, 5:30 - 6:30 pm, at our SLO office, and will meet every other Thursday.
Browder Painting Company Donates Labor & Supplies
February 20, 2017
The Browder Painting Company, Inc. of San Luis Obispo donated $8,800 in labor and supplies to RISE for the nonprofit’s new office. A crew of painters worked at RISE for a week and a half to create a warmer and more inviting space for clients.
The donation is a part of the company’s new “Giving Thanks by Giving” campaign, where it asks customers to nominate local charities to receive painting services.
“The new paint and trim has created a warm and welcoming space, and has made a world of difference for our clients and staff - it feels like a brand new office,” Jane Pomeroy, Associate Director at RISE, said. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Browder Team. The painters were professional, kind, and accommodating of our clients while in the office.”
Call to Action!
January 30, 2017
Please call your representatives and implore them to protect the Violence Against Women Act and the Affordable Care Act. VAWA provides funding for services to those affected by gender based violence, services like those offered by RISE, and it has been instrumental in improving victim services and violence prevention efforts. The ACA, or Obamacare, provides health and safety protections for victims including counseling and confidential care.
Use the links below to learn more about how you can take action today to protect these important liberties:
RISE Receives Grant from The Mary Kay Foundation
October 25, 2016
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, RISE received a $20,000 unrestricted grant from The Mary Kay Foundation to help combat domestic violence and provide much-needed shelter and counseling services to San Luis Obispo County.
While celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Mary Kay Foundation is awarding $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. RISE was selected out of nearly 600 domestic violence shelters who applied for the Mary Kay Foundationshelter grant this year.
Expanded Office Hours in SLO Office
October 3, 2016
Beginning Monday, October 3, the San Luis Obispo RISE office, located at 51 Zaca Lane, Suite 100, will expand its office hours. During the posted office hours, the doors will remain unlocked, and staff will be available to take walk-in crisis support sessions.
We are so excited to be able to expand access to our services from 23 open walk-in hours per week up to a full 40 hours a week! Survivors now have more options and greater flexibility when accessing services at our SLO location.
The new office hours in the SLO office are:
Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM
2016 RISE Up Award Winners Recognized at Wine Women & Shoes
September 11, 2016
The RISE Up Awards recognize excellence in community service supporting RISE’s sexual assault and intimate partner violence programs.
The 2016 RISE Up Award winners are District Attorney Investigator Donna Jones, RISE Up Respect Award winner; RISE Friends Committee member Nancy Lyons, RISE Up Inspire Award winner; Meathead Movers and CEO Aaron Steed, RISE Up Support Award winner; Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and owners Chris and Mallory Lovato, RISE Up Empower Award winner; and RISE Board President Dr. Kate Perry, RISE Up Legacy Award winner. RISE presented the awards at the Wine Women & Shoes event on September 11 at the SpringHill Suites Marriott in Atascadero.
SLO Office Moves
July 25, 2016
The RISE San Luis Obispo office has moved—just a few doors down from the old office at 51 Zaca Lane #140—to 51 Zaca Lane #100.
The larger space will enable RISE to serve more SLO County survivors and accommodate a growing staff. We are excited for the opportunities the bigger space will offer: more rooms for individual and group counseling, office space for our new Bilingual SART Coordinator, and plenty of room to grow
Shelters & Clinics Collaborate to Serve Survivors of IPV
May 3, 2016
A collaboration between RISE, The Women's Shelter Program, The Center for Health and Prevention, and Community Health Centers is implementing an approach to helping survivors of intimate partner violence. Funded by a grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, health care providers are trained to identify victims of intimate partner violence and connect them with the appropriate community resources and, in turn, domestic violence advocates are trained to identify health needs of victims and connect them with medical providers.
Read the full article, in which Associate Director Jesse Torrey is quoted, here:
Shelters, Clinics Work Together to Help Domestic Violence Victims
Counseling Department Implements New Intake Process
May 2, 2016
The RISE Counseling Department has implemented a new process for those seeking counseling services which will improve responsiveness to survivors in the community. The announcement letter from Theresa Mortilla, Counseling Services Director, follows:
To All Community Partners:
This letter is to inform you that RISE is open for assessments for those seeking services through our counseling program.
Please inform interested parties that they will be placed on our waitlist after an initial phone intake. During the wait for counseling services, we can offer groups and crisis sessions. Anyone on the waitlist will receive a weekly update as to when they can be scheduled for an assessment and counseling.
Please understand that it is the intention of RISE to provide services to all survivors of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence in as timely a manner as possible.
Theresa A. Mortilla, MA, MFT
Counseling Services Director
Garbagemen's Association Makes Donation to RISE
March 22, 2016
Representatives from the San Luis Obispo County Garbagemen’s Association were joined by 5th District San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold as they presented a $2,000 donation to RISE, represented by Susan Branche Poteet, President of the RISE Board of Directors.
See the story featured in the A-Town Daily News.
RISE Receives Grant from the Community Foundation SLO County
March 9, 2016
RISE has received a $6,000 grant from the Opportunity to Thrive Initiative and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County (CFSLOCO). This grant will be used to help survivors of domestic violence residing in the RISE safe houses to overcome barriers to their self-sufficiency. The self-sufficiency and independence gained during their time in the safe houses empowers survivors to reclaim their lives, secure safe housing for themselves and their children, and live violence-free lives in the community.
The purpose of the Opportunity to Thrive Initiative is to provide support to individuals and families in transition, striving to achieve self-sufficiency and stability. Grant funds are used to overcome one-time barriers and address gaps in assistance programs. In only sixteen years, the CFSLOCO has given out more than $26 million in grants to assist nonprofit agencies. For more information on the CFSLOCO or any funds, call 543-2323 or log on to www.cfsloco.org.
New Counseling Groups
December 28, 2015
New counseling groups are beginning the first week of January. Please see the flyer to look at the group descriptions and call (805) 226-5400 to put your name on the interest lists.
October 9, 2015
High school brothers Aaron and Evan Steed needed to find a way to make money while accommodating their school and athletic schedules. So in 1997, they established Meathead Movers as the student athlete moving service and quickly earned the reputation as the "go-to movers" in the small town of San Luis Obispo. With that reputation also came the frantic phone calls. Victims looking to flee dangerous situations were desperate to get out, without financial means or logistical support and usually in a small window of time while the abuser was out. The company was offered TVs and couches, anything for a chance to escape. Declining any compensation, Meathead Movers would rush to the home and perform the move. One day, the situation turned volatile when the abuser came home in the middle of the move. It was then that Meathead Movers made the decision to partner with a local shelter to make sure that not only were the victims safe and supported through their transition, but the moving crew was safe, too. In 2001, Meathead Movers began its first official affiliation with a shelter. Since then, Meathead Movers has partnered with an additional six shelters, which you can read about here.
RISE is proud to be supported by Meathead Movers! Thank you for the great work you are doing! Support this local business by checking them out online.
Reports to Law Enforcement Increase in 2014
June 18, 2015
There was a noticeable increase in reported rapes and sexual assault in San Luis Obispo in 2014. There are many reasons for this increase, but outreach by RISE and the Start by Believing campaign that began in 2013 were cited as reasons for these increased reports.
Increase reports do not mean that there was an increase in assaults in San Luis Obispo, but rather that more individuals are feeling comfortable coming forward with their stories to receive the help and justice they deserve.
RISE is the only agency that serves all of San Luis Obispo county for survivors and their loved ones of sexual assault.
Click here to read the whole article from The Tribune.
Self-defense reduces chance of assault
June 18, 2015
"A new study, Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that college women trained in self-defense reduce the incidence of sexual assault by 50%."
Check out the full blog post about self-defense and assertiveness trainings that are making a difference in the lives of women.
To learn more about our self-defense program, please email Ashleigh Vereen.
Changing "Rape Culture" at Cal Poly
March 31, 2015
After three reported sexual assaults on Cal Poly's campus within three months, the community and university has responded. Below are two articles that address those assaults, which include quotes from RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams.
Central Coast Funds for Children Supports RISE
March 4, 2015
RISE has received a $3,000 grant from the Central Coast Funds for Children (C.C.F.C.). This grant will be used to provide counseling services for children affected by domestic violence or sexual abuse. Last year, RISE provided 133 children with counseling services in order to help them heal from the trauma they experienced. In addition, grant funds will also support the prevention education program, where young men and women meet in facilitated groups called MyStrength and HerPower. In these groups, they learn about healthy relationships and how to be positive bystanders when faced with potentially harmful situations.
Central Coast Funds for Children was established to benefit children in need of special services in San Luis Obispo County. It is a publicly supported, non-profit organization. All donations remain in the county to help local children. From 1994–2012, C.C.F.C. has provided over one million dollars in grants to local non-profit organizations (through an application process) to benefit children’s programs throughout the county. For more information, log onto www.centralcoastfundsforchildren.org.
A Makeover Story
October 31, 2014
Unit A at the Paso Robles Safe House has been remodeled! The Paso Robles Lowe's employees graciously donated their time, new flooring materials, and paint to makeover the unit, transforming it to look like a brand new house.
The CEO of MeatHead Movers, Aaron Steed, kindly donated two movers to assist in the moving in and out of the furniture in the safe house. In addition, members of the Atascadero Kiwanis club volunteered their time to assist in the moving of furniture and one member went above and beyond to assist in painting.
Thank you to these donors!
Women's Legacy Fund
September 15, 2014
Below is a video produced by the Women's Legacy Fund of SLO County that talks about the different programs that it supports in the County, including RISE.
The Women's Legacy Fund is part of the Community Foundation. To learn more about the Women's Legacy Fund, please visit their website.
Mary Myers Honored in Washington, DC
July 17, 2014
Last month, RISE Board Member, Mary Myers, and Associate Director, Jesse Torrey, traveled to Washington, DC, so that Myers could participate in the Jefferson Awards gala and events.
The Jefferson Awards are considered the Nobel Prize for public service, and Myers, an employee of PG&E Diablo Canyon, was chosen as the PG&E representative to receive this nomination after receving the Mielke Award, a branch award voted upon by her peers.
Myers was selected for these awards because of her work with the RISE event Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®, an international march to end rape, sexual assault, and gender violence. In 2013, Myers organized the most donations for the event, making it the most successful to date, with her Diablo Canyon coworkers raising $4,200. In 2014, Myers set a new record by raising $9,500 to go toward the San Luis Obispo event.
In Washington, DC, Myers was able to share her story from being a survivor, to seeking help with the two organizations that eventually formed RISE, to how she is now giving back as a Board Member.
Click here for an article on Myers' time in DC. Thank you for your committment to spreading awareness and ending sexual and intimate partner violence, Mary!
"Life After Rape"
May 8, 2014
The New Times published an investigative article this week about sexual assaults in San Luis Obispo County. The article touches on a survivor's story, the prosecution process, the roles and challenges for law enforcement, and ways the county can improve upon its support of survivors.
Featured in the article are RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams, Kim Lonsway of End Violence Against Women International, and District Attorney Candidates Dan Dow and Tim Covello.
To see the full news article, please click here.
May 5, 2014
On January 22, 2014, the White House created a Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. As part of that, Not Alone was launched as an online resource for students and community members to use to discover ways to end sexual assault on campus and to find available resources nearby.
"Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: you are not alone. We have your back. I’ve got your back." - President Barack Obama, January 22, 2014.
RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams Named Woman of the Year
March 14, 2014
Each year as part of Women’s History Month, members of the State Assembly choose an outstanding woman to honor as their district’s Woman of the Year. Started in 1987, the Woman of the Year Award has become an annual celebration of community service and outstanding contributions by women in California.
Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo today honored Jennifer Adams as the 2014 Woman of the Year for the 35th Assembly District.
“Ms. Adams is an extraordinary leader in both San Luis Obispo County and in the movement to end gender violence,” said Achadjian. “She has touched countless lives through her unwavering dedication to provide high quality support and services to victims. We are fortunate to have such a compassionate and giving person living in our community,” commented Achadjian upon presenting Ms. Adams with an Assembly Resolution.
To see the full press release, please click here.
RISE's First Anniversary
January 21, 2014
On January 1, 2014 RISE celebrated our one year anniversary as a merged agency serving survivors of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence on the Central Coast. We are excited to start off 2014 with a brand new website to help our community access resources and better understand the services we provide.
In honor of our first birthday, we'd like to re-share this wonderful video that was shared at our brand unveiling party last year. Hit play below to see how our community banded together to support the merging of the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center and the North County Women's Shelter and Resource Center to create RISE!