My name is Jon, and when I was a child, I moved with my mom and siblings to different domestic violence shelters for safety reasons until one day we were brought to Center for Domestic Peace’s (C4DP) shelter. 

I am grateful for this opportunity to personally thank you for your financial support of C4DP that saved my family from a life of violence and put me on a trajectory no one would have imagined possible. Over the past 45 years, there have been thousands of children who benefited from C4DP – just like me. 

My world changed dramatically in 1999 when we moved from the shelter to C4DP’s transitional housing program, Second Step. I remember the care they took of me, a little immigrant fifth grader, supporting me in expressing my confusion and fear. I remember long walks with the advocates who talked with me about my challenges in school and offered tools on healthy ways to express my anger. Most importantly, I learned to trust adults, which had been rare for me. I often say had we not gone through C4DP’s program and escaped the violence I was surrounded by, I might have ended up in jail. 

At 17, I joined the U.S. Marines Corps and was deployed twice, including to Iraq. My time in the military gave me a sense of purpose, and when I came home, I enrolled in College of Marin and finished my education with a master’s at University of San Francisco in migration studies. During an internship with C4DP, I learned about gender role training and the violence and stereotypes in our society that hurt men and boys. I began to challenge the narrative I told myself about what it means to be a man. These were tough conversations that took more internal strength than being a Marine! 

Today, as a husband, new father, and recent homeowner, I am currently the Prevention Manager at C4DP, working with more than 60 teens and young adults in Marin Against Youth Abuse and Champion Men’s Zone to raise awareness about teen dating violence, healthy relationships, and healthy masculinity. I am more determined than ever to be part of a generation that is changing the norms and challenging the status quo so we can all experience healthy relationships and end the abuse. 

As I write this letter to you, know that I am just one example of how your financial support can cause a ripple of success that is passed on for generations. To continue C4DP’s work of changing lives, please make a donation today, and continue to give to this amazing organization. You really can make a difference. 

Yours sincerely, 

Jonathan Deras 

P.S. Your investment today in C4DP will ensure another generation of young people have options for a brighter future. Please give before December 31, 2022! Venmo us at C4DP_org or