January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month!

Human trafficking is a violent act against humanity. Traffickers and purchasers of those who are victimized lack a conscience, remorse, or respect for the women, men, children, and youth who are victimized by the atrocities that occur when one is trafficked.  Each day in our Sonoma County community more victims are held hostage and so we take this month of January to honor those survivors of these crimes against humanity that have been dealt them. We use this time to heighten our community’s awareness that Verity and many community partners are committed to ending this crime and to seeing that both traffickers and purchasers are held accountable for what they have done to those they have victimized.

This year Sonoma County’s Human Trafficking Task Force is hosting film events and having billboards placed in strategic parts of our county to both heighten awareness and to bring forth discussion as to how we, as a community, can put an end to this vicious crime and support those survivors to reclaim their lives in dignity and with respect.

Did you know?

Verity  advocates have some important information about trafficking in our county to share with you:

  • Verity worked with over 40 human trafficking victims last year by providing crisis intervention, food, shelter, transportation, referrals and much more.
  • The average age for a victim be forced into the sex industry in Sonoma County is estimated to be between 12-14 years.
  • Victims are usually targeted based on vulnerability. Homelessness, experience in foster care, previous experiences of sexual or domestic violence, and younger age all play a factor in a victim’s susceptibility to being trafficked.
  • Perpetrators or “buyers” come from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds. Our advocates have seen engineers, bankers, brew-masters, jewelers, attorneys, photographers, marijuana growers, laborers, and others. We’ve seen married men, fathers, single men, and a son-in-law gifting purchased sex to his father-in-law.


See all of our graphics here.


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Verity’s office is closed from 12/23/17 – 1/1/18!

Verity’s office will be closed from 5 PM on Friday, December 22nd until Tuesday, January 2nd at 9 AM. 

While our staff will be taking the week off to rest and enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones, that does not mean we are not here for you. As always, our Crisis Line will be up and running, fully staffed by volunteers and staff members.

Whether you just need a person to listen to you or are having a crisis, we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to call. Our hotline is (707) 545-7273. We are here for you.

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Help Our Clients Have Happy Holidays!

One of the ways that Verity is able to truly support survivors of sexual violence is by making sure that survivors’ families are supported, too. Especially in the wake of the firestorms earlier this year, our clients and their families need supplies of food and clothing to go from beyond surviving to truly thriving.

Sonoma County has shown a huge outpouring of support as we enter this holiday season, and we are hoping that a few folks will take up the cause of helping us financially support the fire-affected families we serve. Our clients and their families include small children, teens, adults, and elders who could use everything from clothing in specific sizes and colors to gift cards at their favorite stores.

We are looking for donations of new clothing, shoes, toys, games, make up, or anything else you would want as a present! We will make sure they find their way to whatever client would appreciate them most.

The most helpful gift is a financial donation or gift card so that clients can get exactly what they want! If you would like to donate online, click here.

If you are interested in sponsoring one person or a family, please fill out this form:

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Chris Castillo, Verity’s Executive Director, wins Nonprofit Leadership Award

Chris Castillo, of Santa Rosa’s Verity, has won one of North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Awards. From Chris:

I want to thank you for this tremendous honor. And yet I want to say that yes I lead this organization but we would not be who or where we are without the tremendous current and past staff. So while I personally accept this honor, I do it on behalf of my Team Verity as well as all who have been victimized by rape and sexual violence. They truly are my heroes. Thank you from the depths of my heart.

Read more here.

Check out our pictures and video from the event on Facebook! Thank you for being a part of the Verity community, whether you’re a volunteer, donor, client, or friend of the agency — we couldn’t do it without you!
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2017 Fundraising Breakfast Cancelled

We cannot, in good conscience, devote the time, money, and people-power necessary to putting on a fundraiser when our communities need that time, money, and people-power for far more pressing needs. Thank you so much for standing by us with this decision, which is made on behalf of our entire community of Sonoma County.

We hope to reschedule this event in the spring of 2018, once we know what the long-term impacts of this firestorm will be on our clients and on our community as a whole. In the meantime, please remember if you need absolutely anything from our team, please reach out and ask for help. We are here for you.

Read our letter here.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please email us at or call us at 707-545-7270. Thank you for making Sonoma County’s community as strong as it is!

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Resources for Fire Volunteers and Evacuees

First of all, we do hope that you and those you love are safe and sound. All Verity staff members and their families are safe as of now, although a few have had to evacuate. Our building on Piner Road is still standing and in good condition, especially considering the wreckage in the area. The rest of our neighborhood is bleak and burnt, and rebuilding isn’t going to be easy. We will not be returning to the office this week, but our staff who are able to are visiting evacuation centers and volunteering all over the county to make sure there is no lapse in services.

Our crisis line is (707) 545-7273. Even if you need to process the trauma of this disaster, unrelated to sexual violence, we are here to listen.

If you would like to request an in-person visit to a specific place, please email us at to request an advocate visit. If you know of a specific place that needs more volunteerpower, please also reach out to and we will try to get some of our peoplepower out there.

You can check our Facebook page for the most updated resources for volunteering and resources, and please feel free to comment or message us on that platform to get a hold of us.


The Redwood Empire Food Bank needs a lot of volunteerpower and financial support. If you’d like to volunteer, call 707.523.7900 first to make sure they still need your help.
From their website: 

In order for us to continue meeting the existing need and increase our provision of help, we need your support.

Two ways to help right now:
  1. Make a financial donation. We have the capacity to increase the amount of food we provide to the community – we just need the financial resources to make this possible.
  2. Bring food donations to the REFB right now. We are in dire need of ready-to-eat, non-perishable foods that we can provide to the evacuation centers immediately. These foods should be easy to open and easy to eat – many shelters do not have kitchens for heating and preparing food. Please do not bring glass containers.
    Please note, the off-ramp at Airport Blvd. is currently closed in both directions. To get to our facility, please take the Shiloh Road exit heading west, take a left on Skylane Blvd., until you meet Airport Blvd. again. Our address is 3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA


Petaluma People’s Services also needs volunteerpower answering phones and coordinating potential housing for victims of the fire. Their address is at 1500A Petaluma Blvd South, Petaluma, CA 94952.  Please call them at (707) 765-8488 to make sure they still need volunteers before heading over.


The material needs of the shelters in Petaluma change constantly. If you have things to donate, please hold onto them for another day or so. Supplies are surely going to need to be replenished, but shelters only have so much room. Please continue to check this living Google Document with updating lists of resources available and needs from the community. 


We have support systems all over the state and country. Rape Trauma Services of San Mateo County is helping staff our crisis line; they have access to the same list of resources that we give our new Crisis Line Volunteers, and are staffing our line 24/7 so that we have more agency to go be out in the field, in evacuation centers, meeting with clients, and going with survivors to the hospital and law enforcement interviews.
The Crisis Call Center in Nevada is also offering to help anyone who is in crisis: they have a 24/7 crisis line that you are welcome to call 775-784-8090. If you’d prefer to text, they have a text line. Text the word “Listen” to 839863 to be connected to someone. From the Center:

“We won’t have access phone numbers to the local services, shelters and such in Santa Rosa but we can help anyone that may be feeling overwhelmed or are feeling heightened levels of anxiety and talk with them through their crisis until they are feeling stronger. We can google services for them if needed. We are a confidential crisis line and a safe place to talk. If our call room staff or volunteers are all on the phones any call that comes in will roll over to the national suicide hotlines which is 1800-273-8255 – they help people experiencing trauma too… not just those feeling suicidal. Sending healing thoughts to everyone at Verity and all of those touched by the fires.”


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Verity if there’s anything we can do to support you through this trying time.
We are so thankful for the resilience of this community.

Verity staff has been all over the county connecting with survivors and volunteering to help evacuees.

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Verity’s Annual Staff Retreat

Last Friday, Verity was closed while our staff went out on a staff retreat in Windsor and Healdsburg! Our wonderful volunteers (wo)manned the crisis line so that we could have an uninterrupted day of visioning and relaxing.

We discussed our visions for and reflections of Verity outside on the Windsor Town Green, then went over to kayak down the river thanks to Russian River Adventures! Great days like these help revitalize our staff while also reminding us of what an amazing county we live in and serve.


All of the Verity staff are ready, able, and willing to serve all survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones, and we are committed to working together as a team to provide holistic services to everyone we come across.

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Help Verity Outreach!

Verity staff members, Board members, and volunteers are pretty amazing, but even they can’t be everywhere! That’s why we need your help.

We have created two simple yet eye-catching posters (one in English and another in Spanish) with our crisis line’s number and our logo on them, and we need your help distributing them.

Will you post a handful of these posters in your community?

Next time you’re at your favorite cafe, tack a poster up on the community bulletin board. If your workplace has a break room, hang one up there. If your church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship has a space for community fliers, make sure Verity is on display! If you attend or work at a school or college campus, hang up as many as you can wherever you can!

You can download the English poster here and the Spanish poster here. If you want us to print them and mail you a few, please email a mailing address to and we’ll send them out the next business day.

Thank you for helping to spread the word about Verity’s services!

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Crianza con Su Niño(a) Después de un Trauma

Crianza con Su Niño(a) Después de un Trauma

un grupo mensual para padres y cuidadores

Los niños necesitan apoyo adicional después de experimentar el trauma de abuso sexual, y es posible que se desarrollen comportamientos y emociones difíciles.  Los padres y cuidadores también necesitan apoyo e información para cuidar a sus niños, sus familias, y a si mismos.

Este grupo mensual de habilidades y apoyo para padres y cuidadores enfrentará:

  • Las reacciónes emocionales, psycológicas, y de comportamiento que tienen los niños con frequencia después de experimentar un trauma, y como apoyar a su niño/a en lidiar con esos.
  • Lidiando con el trauma vicario de saber del abuso de su niño/a.
  • Como hablar con su niño/a sobre el abuso sexual y la seguridad, en una manera apropriado para su edad.
  • Estratégias de crianza positiva
  • Conectandose con recursos y con la comunidad

Apoyándole a su niño/a en su proceso de sanar del trauma puede ser agobiante.  La ayuda está a su alcanze, usted no está solo/a.  Unase a nosotros el 17 de Agosto de 4:00pm-5:00pm en la oficina prinical de Verity- 835 Piner Rd. Edifico D- para este grupo mensual sin costo.  Llame al 707-545-7270 para inscribirse.

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Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

a monthly skills and support group for parents and caregivers

Children who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse need extra support and may develop challenging behaviors and emotions.  Parents and caregivers also need support and guidance to nurture their children, families, and themselves.

This monthly skills and support group for parents and caregivers will address:

  • Common emotional, behavioral, and psychological reactions children have to experiencing trauma, and how to support your child in coping with them.
  • Coping with the vicarious trauma of learning about your child’s abuse
  • How to talk to your child about sexual abuse and safety in an age-appropriate way.
  • Positive parenting strategies
  • Connecting with resources and community

Supporting your child through healing from trauma can feel overwhelming.  Help is available, you are not alone.  Join us on the third Thursday of every month from 4:00-5:00 pm at the Verity main office (835 Piner Road, Suite D) for this free monthly group.

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About the Blog

Learn about what's new at Verity, announcements from our partner organizations, and ideas to help you get involved in fighting sexual violence.
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