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RISE releases community survey to assess violence in San Luis Obispo

August 16, 2019

RISE, through its Close to Home Community Organizing Team, is releasing a city-wide survey to gather input on how community members view gender-based violence on the local level and how they would like to see violence addressed.

Close to Home is a community- driven initiative, born out of the need to engage people in violence prevention and give them the power to tell their own stories and design sustainable solutions. Close to Home is made up of 24 community members, ranging from 14 to 43 years of age, all committed to making San Luis Obispo happier and healthier for everyone.

Take the survey here.

Read full press release.

2019 Wine Women & Shoes Tickets on Sale

June 10, 2019

The 5th Annual Wine Women & Shoes benefiting RISE will take place on September 15, 2019 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. This event is a wine and food tasting, boutique shopping experience complete with raffles, silent and live auctions and a fashion show. Kick up your heels for an afternoon of fun and philanthropy.

VIP tables for the 5th Annual Wine Women & Shoes go on sale June 10 and all other tickets will be released on June 17. The event offers three ticket categories. Diva Den is a sought after special luxury admission where only 20 attendees get to enjoy this extreme VIP treatment with preferential plush seating, tables adorned with exclusive gourmet treats, dedicated Sole Men and exclusive gifts. VIP tickets offer access to the event, preferential seating at tables, gourmet bites during the seated portion of the event, special attention from our fabulous Sole Men and a special gift. Purchase a full table and ensure you will be seated next to your friends! Finally, General Admission tickets offer full access to the event and theater style seating during the seated program.

You can purchase your tickets here.

Read full press release.

RISE Executive Director Retiring after 15 Years

May 17, 2019

Jennifer (Jenny) Adams, Executive Director of RISE San Luis Obispo County, is retiring on June 28, 2019. She has worked in the field of gender-based violence for over 20 years, serving as Executive Director for fifteen. She is excited to travel, spend time with family, and explore options for her next adventure. Under Jenny’s leadership, RISE has nearly doubled in size, adding programs, increasing funding and expanding staff.

“On behalf of the RISE Board of Directors, we thank Jenny for her many years of dedication and service to our clients. Her leadership has significantly contributed to making RISE the strong community resource that it is today,” states RISE Board President, Debby Nicklas. “The Board is sincerely grateful for her wisdom, enthusiasm and guidance and we wish her much happiness and success in her future endeavors.”

The full press release can be read here.

SLO RISE director survived sexual assault as a child. It became her life’s work. (Tribune)

RISE Executive Director Retiring after 15 Years (Paso Robles Daily News)

RISE leader Adams retiring (Paso Robles Press)

Hometown Radio 6/10/19 5p: Jennifer Adams of RISE (KVEC)

National Sexual Assault Experts to Train Local Law Enforcement

May 14, 2019

On May 29, a training will be offered on trauma-informed responses to sexual assault. Participants will explore how the trauma of sexual assault victimization impacts the behaviors, memory, and recall of survivors, and strategize how to improve criminal justice and community responses to better meet their needs. This one-day training will be hosted by the San Luis Obispo SART (Suspected Abuse Response Team) Advisory Board, in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney’s Office, along with RISE. Generous support was also provided by Cuesta Community College, where the training will take place.

Training will be provided by Detective Carlton Hershman (Retired) of the San Diego Police Department (APD) and Dr. Kimberly Lonsway of End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI). Tickets are available for purchase on the RISE website. Tickets are $25 and a brown bag lunch will be provided.

Click here to read the full press release.

Law enforcement and victim support organizations to receive training on science of trauma (New Times)

Cuesta College hosts sexual assault response and training event (KSBY)

RISE Executive Director Interviewed by KSBY Regarding Sexual Assault Crimes in SLO County

May 8, 2019

Check out RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams as she speaks about sexual assault crimes in SLO County on KSBY (she is featured at the 1:05 minute mark). SLO Police Department reported a 41% increase in sexual assault cases in 2018, which is likely an increase in reporting and not an increase in incidence. As the community becomes more supportive, victims will be more likely to report. The full article can be read here.

Moms eat free at Mother's Day community picnic

May 6, 2019

On Sunday May 12, to celebrate Mother's Day, SLO County Supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong, former Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley, Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin and Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno will host the 11th Annual Mother's Day Picnic to benefit RISE and all the clients we serve. This family friendly event will take place at the Portola Inn in Atascadero between 11:30 AM and 2 PM. Mothers and children under 3 eat for free. Adult and teen tickets are $20. Children's tickets (4-12 years old) are $10.

Chef Charlie will provide a buffet style champagne brunch. There will be an ice cream truck and lawn games for the whole family.

To read the full press release click here.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Learn more!

April 21, 2019

RISE will host RISE Up & Rock: A Benefit Concert Supporting Survivors on Saturday, April 27 at the SLO Brew Rock Event Center in San Luis Obispo. The event will run from 2 - 7 PM, with musical performances, activities, awards and more showcased throughout the afternoon.

All proceeds from the event support RISE and will in turn help provide services for survivors and families such as a 24-hour crisis line, counseling, emergency shelter and prevention education.

Pre-sale tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets will be sold at the door for an increased price of $30 for general admission and $20 for students. To purchase tickets or support a Celebrity Rocker, visit RISEslo.org

Read full Press Release here

Listen to The Krush 92.5 interview with Jane Pomeroy and Jennifer Adams of RISE

Listen to News Talk 920 KVEC interview with Jennifer Adams and Robert Diaz of RISE

RISE Implements New Tool to Link Sexual Assault Survivors to Resources

March 22, 2019

Seek Then Speak is part of a new initiative by RISE and its community partners to help sexual assault survivors engage with local support and reporting resources and assist survivors in gathering information, exploring options, and taking action when they’re ready.

The program is available in 60 languages to increase access. Survivors have the choice to begin the process of reporting the crime directly to law enforcement and can request supportive services. The program is designed to help close gaps in service delivery and promote justice and healing.

“Seek Then Speak is an alternative, trauma-informed way for survivors to tell their stories. It empowers them to take control of their healing and, when they are ready, choose to access advocacy services or connect with law enforcement,” said Jennifer Adams, RISE Executive Director.

Seek Then Speak is available to anyone in San Luis Obispo County by visiting SeekThenSpeak.org, calling 888-865- 9863, or downloading the mobile app (Android and iOS).

Learn more about Seek Then Speak

Read the full Press Release

‘Seek Then Speak’ unveiled as a new tool for sexual assault survivors (KSBY)

New digital tool could help sexual assault victims (New Times)

National Sexual Assault Experts to Train Local Law Enforcement

February 20, 2019

Over 200 law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, victim service providers and others are expected to attend a one-day training on February 22, 2019, to hear from leading national experts in sexual assault response and investigation.

This one-day training will be hosted by the San Luis Obispo SART (Suspected Abuse Response Team) Advisory Board, in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and District Attorney’s Office, along with RISE.

Participants will explore how the trauma of sexual assault victimization impacts the behaviors, memory, and recall of survivors, and strategize how to improve criminal justice and community responses to better meet their needs.

Training will be provided by Sergeant Liz Donegan (Retired) of the Austin Police Department (APD) and Dr. Kimberly Lonsway of End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI). Sgt. Donegan (Ret.) served 26 years with the APD, leading the Sex Crimes Unit for over 9 years where she enacted a progressive approach toward investigating sexual assault, providing better service to victims, and changing the culture surrounding the investigation of non-stranger sexual assault.

National Sexual Assault Experts to Train Local Law Enforcement

The Mary Kay Foundation Awards RISE with $20,000 Grant

February 8, 2019

In support of survivors of domestic violence, The Mary Kay Foundation announced awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country. RISE has received a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support local survivors of domestic violence in San Luis Obispo County.

“At Mary Kay, we believe in helping women improve their circumstances and live their best lives. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and it is our responsibility to support the women’s shelters that aid these survivors,” said President of The Mary Kay Foundation Board of Directors Michael Lunceford. “At the heart of The Foundation’s work is the shelter grant program which is actively supported by our independent sales force. We’re proud that our commitment makes such a powerful impact in local communities and in the lives of domestic violence survivors across the country.”

RISE will use grant funds to support and expand individual and group counseling services for clients and families residing in its two domestic violence shelters.

RISE Statement on Proposed Changes to Title IX

February 6, 2019

The proposed changes to Title IX regulations will negatively impact those we serve at our local K-12 schools, as well as at our local colleges: Cuesta Community College and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).

Should these new regulations pass, survivors will be further deterred from reporting. In particular, the proposed geographic restrictions would confine student reporting to on-campus assaults and would fail to encapsulate those crimes that occur between students off-campus. This is particularly damaging to campuses like Cal Poly, where a majority of the student population lives off-campus.

As a victim advocate organization, RISE believes such legislation prioritizes the needs and well-being of respondents over that of victims, which is simply unacceptable. Believing victims is essential to preventing sexual violence and to reducing the dramatic public health and economic impacts on survivors and society as a whole.

Click here to view full statement

Title IX propositions would prevent sexual assault reports, local advocates say (KSBY)

Government shutdown puts added stress on domestic violence and sexual assault groups already strained by needs of victims in the #MeToo era

January 25, 2019

Groups that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault were already straining to maintain resources as more women have been emboldened to seek aid in the #MeToo era.

"We're already really taxed because of the need for services" sparked by #MeToo, said Jennifer Adams, executive director of RISE, a nonprofit that provides resources for sexual assault and domestic violence victims in central California. "Two hundred people are currently on the waiting list for counseling services, and our two shelters are consistently full."

RISE has a $2 million annual budget and over half of it comes from federal funding, she said. Right now, RISE is managing its budget by cutting back on spending for things like travel, training and new furniture. So far, it has avoided crucial service cuts.

Shutdown adds more strain to groups helping victims of rape and domestic violence (CNBC)

After 16 years, RISE retires Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event

January 24, 2019

After extensive discussion, market research, and feedback from RISE staff, board members, and community supporters alike, RISE has decided to retire the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. This decision was made in an effort to address some of the problematic messaging of Walk a Mile as well as a pattern of declining revenue and attendance.

“RISE’s goal is to create an inclusive, empowering event that speaks to the experiences of all survivors and we weren’t meeting that goal with Walk a Mile” said Jennifer Adams, RISE Executive Director. “However, we are incredibly grateful for those who have attended, donated, and supported survivors through Walk a Mile over the years. We hope to carry forward the progress, momentum, and support established by Walk a Mile, while continuing to empower allies, raise awareness, and bring together SLO County to support survivors.”

Click here to view the press release

RISE retires annual Central Coast ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event

RISE ends SLO Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event — it didn’t send the right message

New RISE SLO Concert Replaces Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event

January 30, 2019 - Dave Congalton Show KVEC 920

Lack of funding for Violence Against Women Act could harm local victims

January 4, 2019

Due to the budget impasse, lawmakers have failed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark 1994 law that allots federal money to organizations that serve women across the country who have been subjected to violence.

The federal money is a significant source of funding for both local groups RISE and Stand Strong. Both combine to serve thousands of victims of domestic violence each year.

“The fact that is has not been reauthorized and we are at risk of losing that funding is so scary to the work that we do and the victims we serve,” said Jenny Adams, Executive Director of RISE.

Forty percent of RISE’s funding comes from a combination of state and federal funds. At Stand Strong, 80 percent of its budget is federally funded.

Lack of funding for Violence Against Women Act could harm local groups, victims (KSBY)

Opportunity to Thrive Grant Program Benefits Local Survivors

January 4, 2019

RISE has received a $5,000 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 and domestic violence overcome barriers to their self-sufficiency. RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams said, “RISE clients are able to utilize funds from the Opportunity to Thrive Grant to provide life-changing support such as tuition for school, clothing for work, and car repairs.”

The purpose of the Opportunity to Thrive Grant Program is to provide support to individuals and families in transition, striving to achieve self-sufficiency and stability. Each year, The Community Foundation awards $2-3 million in grants and scholarships with more than 90% of grant funding remaining locally in SLO County.

RISE gets $5,000 grant, money will help survivors of sexual assault become more self-sufficient (KSBY)

RISE Receives Grant from The Community Foundation SLO County (SLO Chamber of Commerce)

RISE announces new sexual violence prevention program in San Luis Obispo

December 4, 2018

RISE is bringing a community‐based sexual violence prevention program called Close to Home (C2H) to the City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) starting February 1, 2019.

C2H will utilize evidence-based strategies and a four-phase model that aims to prevent sexual violence in the City of SLO by empowering citizens to identify methods that reflect SLO’s unique culture and history as first adopters. RISE is partnering with Stand Strong, Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA), the City of SLO, SLOPD, Cal Poly Safer, and the SLO County District Attorney’s office during implementation to ensure the program reaches as many people as possible.

Viewpoint by RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams

November 6, 2018

"I was also 15 at the time of my rape. There are also many important factors that I do not remember. And I also did not tell anyone for over a decade.

"The parallels between my own experience and that of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford were many. For that reason, the impact of her testimony and the nation’s response to it felt extremely personal. And I’m not the only one. Close friends. Colleagues. Family members. RISE clients calling the crisis line at 4 a.m.

"In the wake of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, the sentencing of Bill Cosby and further details about the abuses in the Catholic Church, survivors across the nation are being retraumatized."

Read Jennifer's full statement in the Tribune: In cases of sexual violence, please start by believing the victims

#MeToo Movement Increases Calls to RISE Crisis Line

October 11, 2018

RISE recently reported a 322 percent increase in calls to its sexual assault crisis hotline from the previous year.

The nonprofit's executive director, Jennifer Adams, said the increase in calls corresponded with the rise of the #MeToo movement.

"It's given people a voice and platform to tell their stories, and we are grateful that we can be there to help them," Adams said.

Adams said the RISE sexual assault crisis line received a total 129 calls between January and September of 2017. In 2018, the number of calls jumped to 416 for the same period of time. RISE's waiting list for counseling also increased from an average of 30 to 50 people last year to 175 in 2018.

#MeToo movement increases calls to RISE crisis line (New Times)

It's a Movement, Not a Moment (SLO Scoop)

Local sexual abuse victims speak out at #WhyIDidntReport event

September 26, 2018

Dozens gathered at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse. The event stemmed from the viral hashtag, #WhyIDidntReport.

Jennifer Adams, Executive Director of RISE in San Luis Obispo County, says "shame" is one of many reasons victims don’t come forward. “I’ve talked to thousands of victims over the years and I’ve never talked to a victim that hasn’t somehow blamed themselves,” Adams said.

Adams added that often times, the victim is afraid of getting in trouble, their memory is spotty, and they may not identify what happened to them as sexual assault.

Local sexual abuse victims speak out at #WhyIDidntReport event (KSBY)

RISE Up Awards recognize excellence in community service supporting RISE’s mission

September 9, 2018

The RISE Up Awards recognize excellence in community service supporting RISEs sexual abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence programs; the 2018 RISE Up Award winners are District Attorney Dan Dow, Malani Anderson of Turley Wine Cellars, McPhees Grill, and Stand Strong. RISE presented the awards at the Wine Women & Shoes event on September 9 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. Wine Women & Shoes featured a fashion marketplace, eight Central Coast wineries, eight local culinary vendors, and a seated program emceed by local radio DJ and on-air celebrity Adam Montiel, fashion show, live auction by Storage Wars auctioneer Johan Graham, and the presentation of the 2018 RISE Up Awards.

RISE Awards honor community service of Central Coast residents, organizations (KSBY)

2018 RISE Up Award Winners Announced (SLO Chamber of Commerce)

These SLO County kids gathered goodies for the pets of domestic abuse survivors

August 1, 2018

"In June, RISE received a $3,000 grant from animal crisis care group RedRover, allowing RISE to construct on-site housing at its Atascadero shelter for dogs and cats. The shelter now has the capacity for eight cats and eight dogs and is currently housing at least one dog. Although the grant paid for the kennels, RISE relies on donations to provide basic pet needs, such as food bowls, grooming products and cleaning supplies. That’s where the kids- Jake and Kate Harvey, Olivia and Sofia Rice, Amelia and Nora Pfost and Bixby Hardy- stepped in.

The kids “spread the word and gathered bags of goodies for the survivors and their pets” by drawing pictures, making lists and collecting items from neighbors for survivors and their pets. They collected 20 to 25 bags of supplies; approximately $150 worth of leashes, bowls, pet waste bags, food and blankets. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 70 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their abuser had injured, killed, or threatened family pets. As many as 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear leaving their pets behind, the coalition said."

These SLO County kids gathered goodies for the pets of domestic abuse survivor (The Tribune)

RISE Executive Director and Therapist discuss life after the #MeToo movement on KCBX

July 5, 2018

Join Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with guests Jennifer Adams, Executive Director of RISE San Luis Obispo County; Kris Roudebush, MFT Therapist; and Christina Kaviani, Director of Safer & Men and Masculinity Programs at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. They discuss what life is like after the #MeToo movement, what we as a community can do to help victims, and as what can be done to decrease incidences of harassment and abuse in the future.

Central Coast Voices: Life After #MeToo

New Grant Funding Increases LGBTQ+ Outreach and Services

July 2, 2018

RISE is proud to announce the launch of its latest public awareness campaign, bringing awareness of RISE services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ+ community as well as its expanded case management services and LGBTQ+ support group.

Funded by a $3,000 grant from the Growing Together Initiative Fund of The Community Foundation, in the last year RISE has expanded services for LGBTQ+ survivors. RISE provides individual case management services to assist clients in developing plans for increased independence and success. RISE offers a “Cultivating Healthy & Safe LGBT Relationships” support group at the GALA Center. In the last year, the group provided 200 hours of support and healing for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence.

This June and July for Pride Month, RISE has a billboard on US Route 101 north of San Luis Obispo, and will be distributing brochures about healthy relationships and local resources for the LGBTQ+ community. RISE will also be hosting a booth at the SLO Pride in the Plaza event on July 8th.

“We hope this campaign will help LGBTQ+ community members in our County to feel more comfortable and safe seeking RISE services,” said Jane Pomeroy, RISE Associate Director. “RISE has many excellent programs that can be used by LGBTQ+ individuals who have experienced sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and we want to make sure they know they are welcome here.”

July 5, 2018, UPDATE: We made a grammatical mistake in the Spanish language portion of our media. We apologize and take full responsibility for this error. All of our client services are available in Spanish and English and we are committed to providing culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to our clients. We are currently making corrections to all of our campaign materials, and we thank you for your patience throughout this process.

Nonprofit launches LGBTQ+ outreach campaign

New Pet Facility at Atascadero Shelter

June 11, 2018

RISE is excited to announce the construction of an onsite housing center for the cats and dogs of sexual assault and intimate partner violence survivors staying at the RISE emergency shelter in Atascadero, made possible through a $3,000 RedRover® Relief Safe Housing grant. RedRover provides grants for financial assistance and support for victims of domestic violence through its RedRover Relief program, enabling domestic violence victims to safely escape abusive situations with their pets.

RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams said, “We believe that survivors should not have to choose between leaving an abusive environment or leaving their pets behind. We are committed to providing a safe space for survivors, their children, and their pets to continue their healing journey.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 70% of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their batterer had injured, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or psychological control. As many as 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave.

SLO County victims of domestic violence now have a safe place to go with their pets

RISE now provides shelter for domestic violence victims' pets

Moms Eat Free at RISE Mother’s Day Community Picnic

May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 13, and RISE is hosting the 10th Annual Mother’s Day Picnic for the SLO County community. The picnic is fun for all ages, with lawn games and an ice cream parlor. This brunch has brought the community together on Mother’s Day for almost a decade and RISE is expecting this year to be better than ever!

This event is a fun way to bring families together to celebrate Mother’s Day. Families will bring blankets and eat on the lawn of the Portola Inn. The brunch is buffet-style and includes champagne, fresh fruit, korean fried chicken, sweet potatoes, grilled brocolinni, and more!

The picnic will take place on Sunday, May 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Portola Inn in Atascadero. Mothers and children under 3 eat for free, adult and teen tickets are $20, and children from ages 4-12 eat for $10. The event is co-hosted by SLO County Supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong, Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley, and Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin.

Atascadero News Mother's Day Picnic

RISE Launches Spring Fundraising Campaign

May 8, 2018

RISE is proud to announce the launch of its latest campaign aiming to hire another therapist to provide survivors with needed counseling services, with the goal of raising $20,000 by June 30, 2018.

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, survivors of sexual violence are feeling more comfortable in reaching out for help and support services to guide them through the healing process. This has resulted in a higher demand for counseling services, and RISE now has a waitlist of 130 survivors waiting 8-12 weeks minimum for services. Survivors who receive therapy can reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of trauma, and feel empowered in their recovery, but when a survivor makes the effort to get help and then has to wait three months, it can be incredibly discouraging and encourages feelings of shame and hopelessness.

In 2017, RISE provided counseling services to 252 survivors. A waitlist of 130 survivors – more than half of those served in 2017 – highlights the need for a new therapist to help decrease the waitlist size and wait time for survivors in need of help.

RISE Executive Director Named Woman of the Year by California State Legislature

April 4, 2018

On March 12, Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning honored Jennifer Adams as the 2018 District 17 Woman of the Year. Presented by the Legislative Women’s Caucus during Women’s History Month, the Woman of the Year award recognizes 120 women from all over California for accomplishments in their fields and their dedication to improving the lives of others.

Adams was selected to receive this year’s Woman of the Year award for her almost 20 years of work serving victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Adams says she continues to be fueled by her passion to create a community free from interpersonal violence: “In this work, I continue to be inspired by survivors, as well as our incredible staff, volunteers, and board of directors. I am so thankful to have been honored with this award, and I hope the accompanying recognition inspires others to get involved in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence.”

Community Members Walk a Mile to End Sexual Assault

April 3, 2018

It is often said, “You can’t understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” At the Walk a Mile events, SLO County residents will literally walk a mile in solidarity with those who have experienced gender-based violence.

The 5th Annual Paso Robles walk takes place Saturday, April 7, in Downtown City Park. The 2nd Annual Arroyo Grande walk takes place Saturday, April 14, in Heritage Square Park. The 2nd Annual Cuesta College walk takes place Thursday, April 19, on the Cuesta College SLO campus. Finally, the 16th Annual San Luis Obispo walk takes place Saturday, April 28, in Mission Plaza. The presenting sponsor for the events is H&R Block.

“We hope community members will join us ready to learn, connect, and become empowered in the fight to end gender-based violence.” said RISE Executive Director Jennifer Adams.

Visit www.WalkAMileSLO.org to learn more, register, donate, and fundraise. All proceeds from the event support RISE.

RISE's Jennifer Adams and Sophie Marsh on Dave Congalton Hometown Radio

Sophie Marsh on 93.3 KZOZ Jeff & Jeremy in the Morning

'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' march comes to the Central Coast

Locals 'Walk a Mile' to end sexual assault

Cuesta College takes part in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event

Cuesta 'Walks a Mile in Her Shoes' to end sexual assault and rape culture

Men in heels take on San Luis Obispo for a good cause

SLO community dons high heels for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Men, women and kids walk a mile in her shoes in downtown SLO

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."

The justice gap: SLO leads the county in reported rapes, yet few perpetrators end up in a courtroom

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.

Spiritual Warrior yoga marathon benefits victims of sexual assault

New San Luis Obispo yoga studio stretches to serve those in need

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.

Good News: RISE has received a $10,000 grant from the Opportunity to Thrive Grant Program and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County

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.

Where do men fit in the #MeToo movement? Find out at this SLO event

Panel of local men to discuss #MeToo movement & sexual harassment

Does #MeToo mean men, too? SLO panel discusses men’s role in the growing movement

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.

Hear the survivor stories, support RISE’s fundraising efforts, and learn more.

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.

See the flyer for more details.

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.

English support group "Creating Safety" Mondays at 2 pm

Español grupo de apoyo "Crear Seguridad" Lunes a 3 pm

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.

See the flyer for more details.

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:

Take Action to Oppose Any Cuts to Violence Against Women Act Funding

Take Action to Oppose The Repeal of The Affordable Care Act

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.

Thank you,

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.

#MoveToEndDV

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.

#MoveToEndDV is going viral around the nation. Check out the different interviews and videos that Meathead Movers has made to support this service they provide and the survivors they are saving.

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.

'Men, it's on you' — that's the message at Cal Poly in an effort to end sexual assaults

Winter of discontent: There've been three reported sexual assaults in three months at Cal Poly. Now what?

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.

Not Alone

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!

Click here to read more about our new website.

Click here to read more about our history as an organization.

Government shutdown puts added stress on domestic violence and sexual assault groups already strained by needs of victims in the #MeToo era

Groups that help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault were already straining to maintain resources as more women have been emboldened to seek aid in the #MeToo era.


"We're already really taxed because of the need for services" sparked by #MeToo, said Jennifer Adams, executive director of RISE, a nonprofit that provides resources for sexual assault and domestic violence victims in central California. "Two hundred people are currently on the waiting list for counseling services, and our two shelters are consistently full."


RISE has a $2 million annual budget and over half of it comes from federal funding, she said. Right now, RISE is managing its budget by cutting back on spending for things like travel, training and new furniture. So far, it has avoided crucial service cuts.


Shutdown adds more strain to groups helping victims of rape and domestic violence (CNBC)

RISE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones. All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English.