SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A domestic violence advocacy organization held its 40th anniversary luncheon Sunday afternoon at The Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara.
Domestic Violence Solutions raises awareness and funds to support domestic violence survivors.
The organization has answered more than 6,000 emergency calls and helped find shelter for 12,000 women and children.
Executive director Charles Anderson said the organization is essential in the community to inform and protect those affected by domestic violence.
"We have been doing this for 40 years. I think if you ask the people in our organization, both who started and those working today, we wish we didn't have to be here, but we are here because we are needed," Anderson said.
Anderson also encouraged anyone suffering from domestic violence to reach out to others and tell their stories.
"The most important way for us to remedy the ongoing domestic violence is through awareness and people to speak up. You can't be helped if people don't know you're in a situation," Anderson said.
Anyone who is a victim or knows a victim of domestic violence can contact Domestic Violence Solutions at (805) 925-2160.