Female 1: He grabbed the bag from me and said I wasn’t going anywhere. He pointed his fingers like a gun and said I will kill you if you leave me.

Female 2: I left Tom two years ago because I couldn't endure any more abuse.

Narrator: Personal safety. Money. Children. Where to live. All of these are at stake when San Mateo County's most vulnerable residents summon the courage to report domestic abuse.

Melissa Gibbs: My name is Melissa Gibbs and I am the manager of legal services here at CORA.

Melissa Gibbs
Melissa Gibbs

Narrator: CORA – that stands for Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse. It’s a sad fact that one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic violence in their lives.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors provides CORA with funding to boost services and expand outreach to ensure survivors get the help they need. Funding comes from Measure K, a half-cent local sales tax approved voters for local needs.

Gibbs: We have Measure K funding for our Legal Services Program. Our Legal Services Program has many different services that we're able to offer to survivors. We focus primarily on family law as well as criminal law for survivors who are called as witnesses in the District Attorney’s case against the abuser.

We have a legal hotline where survivors can call and ask any legal question, where we really help them navigate the legal process.

As you can imagine the legal system is extremely complex. There's a lot of rules and procedures that all litigants even self-represented litigants have to follow. And one of the main things that we do at CORA is making sure that we're breaking down that process for survivors so that they can really understand what's required of them, what options are available to them and what their legal rights are.

Narrator: The name CORA – Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse - reflects the belief that it takes a community working together to end domestic violence.

County funding from Measure K contributes local funds to this local need.

Gibbs: It has been amazing watching the transformation that survivors are able to make in the time that they are at CORA. They come to CORA in the middle of crisis when they just experience a domestic violence incident.

They are under a lot of stress and trauma and despite all of the barriers that they face, they're able to thrive with the assistance of CORA.