When I was a young police officer working in Hayward, I would respond to calls of domestic violence in which the woman (99.9% of the time back then the victim was a woman) had been beaten, often so severely they had to go to the hospital. But they were too afraid to press charges and the laws then did not allow me to make an arrest without the victim signing a complaint. I got it. Victims who pressed charges had a target on their back and their batterer would usually retaliate, often severely. Those who did decide to leave often had no place to go.
Thankfully, there was a domestic violence shelter in Hayward where I could take the women and their children. A place I knew they would be safe. That place is Ruby's Place. Today I am the President of the Board of Directors for Ruby's Place and I see a different side to the struggle to combat domestic violence and human trafficking. That struggle is financial. As much as the Violence Against Women Act has directed funds to agencies like Ruby's Place, it is not enough. VAWA covers basic needs and keeps our shelter open, but it doesn't make a house a home. Your donations do that.
Ruby's Place has again been chosen to participate in the All State Foundation's Purple Purse Challenge. It is held during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It is called the Purple Purse Challenge because Kerry Washington designs a purple purse each year to support the campaign. The top donor to Ruby's Place during the Purple Purse campaign will receive a coveted Kerry Washington purple purse. The next 200 top donors will receive the Purple Purse Challenge key chain. Please join me in making this year's Purple Purse Challenge the biggest fundraiser of the year for Ruby's Place. My goal is for the agency to raise $100,000. That will make my 50th birthday the best ever.
On behalf of the women and children of Ruby's Place, past, present and future, I thank you.
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