History of the Center
The Center was founded in 1980 by members of the El Dorado County Commission on the Status of Women to meet the needs of displaced homemakers. During an 18-month period, The Center served over 500 women and was recognized with the National Association of Counties Achievement Award. The Center shifted its focus to providing services to victims of domestic violence when it became apparent that many of our displaced homemakers were fleeing violent relationships.
In 1985, the Center added a sexual assault program to provide services for survivors of molest and rape, and outreach rape prevention programs for high school students was implemented. The Center is also part of the County’s Sexual Assault Response Team which provides hospital accompaniment support for victims of sexual assault.
Also in 1985, The Center started an emergency shelter for battered women and their children needing a safe, non-violent place to stay. In 1991, The Center moved to a larger 15-bed safe house shelter which we maintain today. The Center also provides victims transitional housing through a motel voucher program.
The Center’s legal program, which assists battered women and sexual assault survivors in obtaining custody, dissolution and temporary restraining orders, has been honored by the State Bar of California Board of Governors for outstanding delivery of pro bono legal services.
In 2008, with the intent to expand its scope of service to a holistic model of service that includes family members and children who have experienced violence in the home, the El Dorado Women’s Center moved to a new office location and changed its logo and name to ‘The Center for Violence-free Relationships’.
The Center is the only local agency providing specialized services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their families and is recognized in the community and among helping professionals for its expertise in domestic violence and sexual assault issues.
Current services include: a 24-hour crisis line; information and referral; individual counseling, drop-in and group support for victims; emergency food, clothing and transportation; legal assistance and accompaniment; a play/art studio for children who are residing living in the shelter; a safe-pet program; hospital and court accompaniment and advocacy; group counseling for men and women who have battered their partners; community education; school prevention programs; preschool and early childhood no/go/tell programs, and training for volunteers. Over 23,000 victims have been served to date.