Monthly Archives: August 2011

Can You Help Us?

Next Door Solutions is embarking on a new venture and we can’t do it without you!

When faced with the realities of our current economy what do most of us use for help, guidance or networking?  We use technology – computers, the internet – to update resumes, reach out to our network of colleagues, look for jobs, and post our interests.  And we do so without even thinking about it.

Now, imagine you didn’t or couldn’t have access to a computer.  How would you job search?  How would you submit applications? How could you provide for yourself or your family?

All too often this is the situation faced by the women we serve in our Self-Sufficiency program.

Next Door is seeking to enhance our program by building a client computer lab. At this facility, our clients will have the ability to not only search for employment, but also to take online college classes, create web-based businesses, and learn the technological skills that are required in order to be successful in Silicon Valley today.

With the addition of a new computer lab, our clients will have access to tools and resources that will help them achieve independence and autonomy over their own lives.

To help us fulfill this goal, Next Door has teamed up with Start Some Good, a crowd-funding website that is providing us with a platform to raise our computer lab’s start up funds.

There’s a catch… Our campaign is done in an all-or-nothing fashion. Supporters can pledge their support, but will only be charged if and when a campaign reaches its tipping point. The tipping point is the amount of money required to start some good, which in our case is $1370 (enough money for three laptops, three mice, and ten flash drives). We have only a limited amount of time to reach this amount so we need your help today!

Please log onto our venture’s site and pledge your support. It takes only a few moments and with your help, women will be able to go from a state of surviving to a state of thriving.


Now that you’ve donated, are you still looking for other ways to help? Great! Consider doing one of the following:

  • Write an e-mail or forward this webpage to friends, family and anyone else you know asking them to support Next Door’s campaign. Then, ask them to share it with their friends!
  • Utilize your LinkedIn network by updating your status about this opportunity.
  • Write personalized messages on Facebook telling your friends about the campaign and asking for their support.
  • Tweet about it.
  • Have a birthday coming up? Consider foregoing presents this year and ask your friends to donate to this important cause on your behalf.
  • Add the campaign’s link to your e-mail signature.
  • Reach out to your personal network… Do you know any bloggers or members of the local media who can help bring awareness to our campaign?

On behalf of Next Door’s clients and staff, thank you for helping us help women achieve the happiness and self-empowerment that they so greatly deserve.

Next Door’s Teen Program Seeks Professionals As Mentors

Did you know that Teen Dating Violence increases the risk of illicit drug and alcohol use, suicide, and unintended pregnancies in teens? Teens can also develop patterns of victimization that increase their risk of developing PTSD, clinical depression, and anxiety, which can lead to other negative health behaviors.

Teen Dating Violence is just a symptom of the much larger and complex issue of Gender Based Oppression and Violence.  In response to this serious issue, Next Door has developed its Teen POWER (Proud OF Wanting Equal Relationships) Program. Working with local teens, Next Door seeks to address the root caused of gender based oppression through youth-led, multi-year outreach and education campaigns on school campuses that support the notion that gender based violence and oppression is unacceptable, avoidable, and preventable.

To do this, however, we need mentors to guide the young men and women in the POWER Program during the development and execution of these outreach and education campaigns. The teens will implement these outreach and education campaigns at their schools and so we seek experts in the following fields to act as mentors:

  • Social Media
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Video/ Film-making
  • Community Organizing

Mentors would be asked to commit a total of at least twelve to fifteen hours of their time from September through April each year, which include the following:

  • Three evening meetings, during which mentors will present information on various aspects of implementing social media and outreach campaigns
  • Three one-hour sit down meetings with the POWER teams to discuss development and implementation in a more detailed manner
  • Less formal, on-call guidance and availability for troubleshooting and questions

Thank you so much for your interest in helping youth engage their peers in their effort to stop the violence before it starts. We recognize that your time is very valuable and are grateful for your consideration of this volunteer opportunity.

Please, if you have any questions about this mentorship opportunity, contact Stephanie Sanchez, Next Door’s Family Support Services Manager, at (408) 501-7545 or through email at

For all other volunteering opportunities available at Next Door Solutions please contact our main office at (408) 501-7550 or  You can also visit our Volunteer page at

Special Needs Student Forced to Apologize to Rapist

The Republic School District in Springfield, Missouri is being sued for ignoring a 7th grade special education student’s rape claims and then expelling the student for reporting her attacker. This story is another shocking, yet all too real, example of the victim blaming and shaming that is so pervasive in our culture today.

According to the lawsuit, the student had been harassed and assaulted by a male classmate who raped her while on school grounds. When the young girl gathered the courage to report the crime to school officials, they allegedly told her that they did not believe her story. Instead of referring the girl to a counselor or reporting the crime to authorities, school officials instead coerced the student into taking back her allegations. When she recanted her story, the school forced her to write and hand deliver a letter of apology to her rapist.

The young victim was expelled for the rest of the year but when she returned to school the following year, the boy continued his harassment. The girl kept silent about what she was experiencing out of fear of being punished even further. It was not until the boy raped her in the back of the library that she decided to speak with school officials, who remained unconvinced that she was telling the truth. The girl’s mother took her daughter to the Child Advocacy Center, where a rape kit confirmed a sexual assault had taken place and matched the DNA to that of the accused. The boy then pleaded guilty in juvenile court.

The school has stated that they believe the suit to be frivolous and unfounded, despite the fact that the evidence shows the girl was indeed raped at least once by the boy while on school property.

Sadly, situations such as these aren’t as uncommon as we’d like to think. While some of these stories have garnered attention from the media, the majority of them never see the light of day. Imagine all of the young women who have attempted to report the crimes committed against them but have given up, since they just seem to be ignored or chastised anyway.

Please send a message to the Republic School District that their actions in this case are reprehensible. Take the time to demand that school officials nationwide begin to protect young victims of sexual violence, rather than victimize them further.


Next Door’s 40-Hour Training on Domestic Violence

Will begin at Next Door’s Community Office on September 6, 2011 and run through September 24, 2011. This is the California state-mandated, 40-hour domestic violence training for those wishing to work with victims of domestic violence and their children.

When: September 6, 2011 – September 24, 2011 (Tuesday/Thursday evenings and Saturdays)

Download the schedule.

Where: Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
234 East Gish Road, Suite 200, San Jose, CA 95112 (See Map)

Cost: $125 for Non-Domestic Violence Consortium members.

Please download and fill out the registration form.

The registration form must be received by Patty Bennett at the address above no later than August 22, 2011

You will hear from a staff member later in August to set up an informational interview.  Please remember that the deadline for us to receive the registration form is August 22, 2011.

Payment must be received by Margarita Alcantar no later than September 6, 2011.

Click here for more information, and FAQs.

If you have more questions, please call Margarita at 408-501-7553

A Pawn In His Game

A couple of months ago, Next Door’s Executive Director Kathleen Krenek wrote a blog post titled “The Six Degrees of Separation”. If you haven’t read it already, please take the time to do so. In the post, she debunks the myth that states since domestic violence occurs within one’s private home, the crimes do not affect those of us who do not intimately know the family involved. As if I needed any further convincing, my own personal degrees of separation to a victim of domestic violence shrunk this weekend after hearing the news about a Los Gatos murder-suicide.

I personally did not know 22-year-old Andrew Daou, but many of my friends did. As it turns out, Andrew and I attended high school together. He was an immensely talented basketball star who somehow managed to juggle a social life, academics, and his love of sports.  While our paths may have never crossed while in school, I can’t help but be saddened that we are now somehow connected in his death. I never would have guessed that I’d be writing about the passing of a classmate due to domestic violence and to be honest, it’s still mind-boggling. But if we don’t do something to combat this epidemic now, I’m afraid to say that stories like these are only going to become more commonplace.

A little less than a month ago, sheriff deputies responded to the upper class Daou home, standing by for protection as Carmen Daou quickly loaded up a moving van to leave her husband. It was not the first time the police were called to the home and unfortunately, it would not be the last. Earlier this week, the bodies of prominent businessman Ed Daou and his son Andrew were found in their home, their death caused by gun shot wounds. Investigators believe that Ed shot his son and then fatally shot himself.

What could ever drive a father to kill his only son? We know that violence and abuse escalates when a woman is preparing to leave the relationship, and the Daou case seems to prove that point. Ed Daou’s act was the ultimate in showcasing power and exercising revenge, an attempt to regain control over the woman who had made the decision to remove herself from his life. Andrew was merely a pawn in his game.

While we may never be able to predict the future, it’s about time that we start to learn from our past. The San Jose Mercury News stated that Ed Daou’s previous outbursts were like thunder before a storm. If you sense trouble, please help before it is too late. To learn how you can help a friend in need, please click here.

Andrew, I’m so incredibly sorry that I never had the chance to get to know you. May you rest in peace.

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