Planning Our Way Forward with Determination and Clarity

The North Star is an amazing anchor situated in the Northern Sky. It is a landmark and marker that helps those who follow it determine direction. Center for Domestic Peace’s North Star has always been the vision of a world imbued with “domestic peace.”

For 44 years, C4DP’s strategic planning efforts have kept us focused and moving in the right direction toward domestic peace. Along the way, strategic planning has challenged us to stay current with survivor needs, question how to best leverage the resources we have, think deeper about how to fully engage our collaborators and the community, and question how we can fully live up to our long-standing commitment to social justice and equity.

Although the planning effort was slightly delayed due to the pandemic, C4DP’s Board of Directors has recently approved a new three-year plan along with updated core organizational values (C4DP Strategic Plan 2021).

These updated directions combine what we know from more than 44 years of C4DP’s theory and practice at work, new research conducted at the national and state level, and local trends and priorities in Marin. Woven throughout the strategic planning process was a commitment to understand how feminism has evolved from the early days of the organization’s founding to our understanding of what it means to C4DP today.

C4DP recognizes that gender and sexual orientation are evolving realities that we continue to integrate into our response to domestic violence. We recognize that alternative ways of providing services – such as mobile therapy, out-posting in different locations, and offering services online – are just some of the strategies that increase C4DP’s responsiveness to the needs of survivors, their children, and those who abuse. We understand the power of a coordinated community response to domestic violence and move forward with a commitment to expand and deepen our work in this area. And we understand that to transform our culture to end domestic abuse and violence requires more deeply engaging youth, men and boys, and family members.

What holds this work together is C4DP’s core understanding of feminism as an all-inclusive framework that promotes liberation for all people. We recognize the complexity and diversity of each individual person as we bring forth our work to create pathways toward freedom from violence. Toward that end, C4DP will increase our capacity to address oppression stemming from racism, sexism, classism, and anti-LGBTQ bias.

C4DP has stayed steady in moving the agenda to end domestic violence because we continue to be informed by the experience of survivors. Day by day, it is survivors who inform us if corrective course is needed and how to best respond. Survivors’ experience of domestic violence and their urgency that it end is what keeps C4DP moving forward with clarity and determination. As such, listening to their voices is key to our success.

With the right combination of public will, financial resources, and the clarity of C4DP’s continued strategic efforts, Marin is one of the first communities to see domestic violence arrest rates steadily decline over multiple years. Toward that end, we are grateful to all our supporters who continue to invest in C4DP’s strategic business plan to “put ourselves out of business for all the right reasons,” as Executive Director Donna Garske often says.