Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) again held its sold-out successful High Esteem Tea at the Biltmore, which was a lovely way to enlighten guests about a difficult subject. Executive Director Richard Kravetz was proud to announce, “The entire event was underwritten by our many sponsors. There were many donations throughout the year. You kept the doors open.”
The program opened with Pamela Vander Heide reading experts from the DVS book “If Love Hurts.” These are stories told by local women of their abusive relationships.
Co-Presidents Claudette Roehrig and Aaron Steed welcomed attendees, saying, “In the next two hours we hope to fill your minds and touch your hearts.” There have been two shelters in Ventura that had to close. DVS has two housing facilities and it runs a 24-hour hot line.
Teen Services Director Christy Haynes showed us parts of a video, “What is Love?” that she uses as a tool when she goes into schools. Some of the high schools are booking the film for mandatory assemblies. Hannah-Beth Jackson ran the art auction joking (but not really), “Richard asked you to donate from your heart. To heck with that. Donate from your pocketbook!” The bids went fast for the three paintings done by Sally Hamilton, Penny Arntz and Nancy Gifford.
The spotlight of the day shone on guest speaker Fran Drescher, whom you may remember from the popular TV show “The Nanny.” She has become an advocate for women and author of two award-winning books. She is also famous for her laugh and her authentic Queens accent.