Services for survivors

Community Solutions’ play highlights program beginnings

HISTORIAS DE MI MADRE Community Solutions presents its 12th annual production on Nov. 9. File photo

Community Solutions, the largest non-profit human services agency in southern Santa Clara County, will celebrate the program’s beginnings with its annual production.

The 12th annual production of Historias de Mi Madre (My Mother’s Stories) will highlight the grassroots beginnings of services for intimate partner abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking in South County. 

Historias de Mi Madre XII: Inicios (beginnings), explores the genesis of services for survivors of abuse in South County—including the inception of La Isla Pacifica (the Peaceful Island) in 1978, the launching of sexual assault programs in 1981, and the expansion of services to include support to human trafficking survivors in 2003. La Isla Pacifica is a confidential shelter for survivors of intimate partner abuse and/or human trafficking and their children. 

As one of the founders of the Rape Crisis Center, Lisa De Silva worked to ensure these issues gained visibility. 

“When our programs began, domestic violence was kept behind closed doors, sexual assault was buried within silence and shame, and human trafficking was not even in our consciousness,” she said. “Thankfully, these many years later, all three of these crimes have emerged from society’s shadows. Yet, we unfortunately are still facing some of the same myths and stereotypes today that existed years ago. In revisiting history we can ensure that it’s not repeated for our future.” 

This will be the second year that Erica Leon participates in Historias de Mi Madre

“I volunteer for many reasons,” she said. “I am a survivor. From childhood to womanhood, I found myself dealing with the brunt of toxic masculinity, but ultimately found the strength to break free. I participate to bring awareness so that individuals like me can see there is hope, and maybe they too can find their strength to begin again.” 

During the last year, Community Solutions provided services to 792 domestic violence victims, 231 sexual assault survivors and 78 victims of human trafficking. Services include emergency confidential shelter, legal advocacy, court accompaniment, peer counseling, case management, safety planning, and resources and referrals. 

The bilingual (English/Spanish) play will be performed on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gavilan College Theatre, located at 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. in Gilroy. There is a suggested $10 donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Due to mature content, the play may not be appropriate for children. 

For information regarding Historias de Mi Madre XII, call (408) 644-9774.

For domestic violence services, call Community Solutions’ toll-free 24-hour bilingual crisis line at 1-877-END-SADV (1-877-363-7238).