Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse (formerly known as Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Initiative) has led the way in addressing domestic/family violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in the county since 2001. Authorized by the California Legislature as the first Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence County (SB 968) and established by the County Board of Supervisors, the Alliance to End Abuse is built on the foundation of public systems and private providers working together to create a safe and nurturing community.
The Alliance to End Abuse links the County and the community, aligning policies, practices and protocols, coordinating services, and creating a climate where violence and abuse are not tolerated.
The Alliance’s approach:
- Strengthening Systems – advocating with public and private entities to apply a violence prevention lens to the work they do and piloting new projects
- Building Partnerships – facilitating open sharing of resources, ideas, and people power
- Educating Professionals and the Community – hosting workshops and professional development training and developing tools
Our Mission & Impact
The mission of the Contra Costa Alliance to End Abuse is to effect a systems change that reduces interpersonal violence (domestic violence, family violence, sexual violence and human trafficking) by fostering the development and implementation of collaborative, coordinated and integrated services, supports, interventions and prevention activities.
- 2.5% reduction in recidivism rate in DV court
- 50% increase in the number of law enforcement reports prepared
- 250% increase in the number of survivors receiving restraining orders
- Increased capacity of 92% of community organizations for preventing or addressing childhood exposure to trauma
- Awarded more than $12 million in grants over the past decade to expand violence prevention work in Contra Costa County
In 1999, the multiple agencies (government, community service providers and twenty-one law enforcement jurisdictions) involved in the domestic violence system were not coordinated. Efforts were disjointed and the complex issues and diverse approaches, policies, and systems led to fragmented interventions with limited success.
Recognizing the need for a different strategy, in February 2000 the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors adopted a policy of “Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence” and directed the County Administrator to convene a meeting of leaders (County and community) responsible for domestic and family violence and elder abuse prevention, intervention, prosecution and remediation.
In October 2000, over 50 local experts from across the County participated in a full-day “Zero Tolerance” workshop to identify and prioritize system improvements. The group identified broad strategic directions for the new system:
- Coordinate domestic and family violence and elder abuse intervention
- Establish multidisciplinary teams to monitor perpetrators and serve victims and their families
In 2001, Senator Torlakson authored SB 425, which declared Contra Costa County the first Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence County in the State of California. It authorized a pilot program in the County to facilitate governmental oversight and coordination of domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse prevention, intervention, and prosecution. The funding provided was a modest increase in marriage license fees and certified copies of marriage and birth certificates and death and fetal death records. This bill has been replaced in 2006 with Senate Bill 968, which establishes indefinite funding for continued governmental oversight and coordination of violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution.
Bordering the San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County is 10 miles northeast of San Francisco. With a population of just over one million (ninth most populous County in California) and an area of 733 square miles, Contra Costa County is home to both heavily urbanized areas and farmlands and a population that is both racially and socio-economically diverse.
The County’s three regions—Central, East, and West—range broadly in violence risk factors. Many of these factors include poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, and exposure to other forms of violence in the community. Regionally, the three greatest high-risk cities are Richmond,Concord, and Antioch. Domestic violence, family violence, and elder abuse are present in all County communities because they have no racial, socio-economic or geographic boundaries.