Creating a Safe Haven for Women

Gayle Guest-Brown,
Executive Director, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Coalition
Speaker for our April 16, 2014 membership meeting.

Gayle Guest-Brown photo

Gayle Guest-Brown,
Executive Director
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Coalition

(Adapted from an article in The Union, Dec. 19, 2012)

When it comes to victims of violence and abuse, Guest-Brown is more than an advocate — she is also a survivor. More than 15 years ago she found herself in a marriage with escalating tension. After joining a support group, she began to understand the abusive cycle she was in.

“I started to realize I was in danger,” she said. “I loved him, but I love me too — I was not going to let him destroy me. It was easier for me to get out because I was financially independent and didn’t have kids — I can understand how trapped women feel when the man is the sole breadwinner.”

That experience started her down the path to where she is today.

“Over the years, I’ve seen the abusive cycle in those around me,” Guest-Brown said. “I lost a co-worker who was being stalked. She disappeared and has never been found. These kinds of things have crossed my path many times. I was spiritually called to do this kind of work.”

She says hope lies in prevention, in teaching young people about boundaries and healthy relationships.

“We need to teach young women how to recognize abusive relationships and teach men how to share power,” said Guest-Brown, who has since remarried. “Men need to learn it’s OK to break the code, to say to other men, ‘That’s not cool. That’s not OK.’ DVSAC has one of the best prevention programs for young people. That’s where the hope is, and that’s where we can truly stop the generational curse of domestic violence.

“Once your eyes are opened, you can’t close them again.”
Guest-Brown worked as an advocate, educator and speaker in domestic violence intervention and prevention in the Sacramento area for more than 10 years. She founded and managed several prevention campaigns in collaboration with the faith community, including “From Bruised and Battered to Blessed Ministries,” “Men of Integrity & Influence” and, for teens, “Mixed Blessings.”

In addition, she has presented at statewide domestic violence and sexual assault conferences. She was honored as a “2012 Northern California Exceptional Woman of Color” by Sacramento’s Hub Magazine.

Guest-Brown holds a master of business administration from the University of California, Davis, and a project management professional credential. After more than a decade of doing prevention work after hours, she opted to leave her successful career at Hewlett-Packard to pursue her passion for ending violence against women full time.

Newcomers and Guests are always Welcome!

April 16, 2014

Social/networking hour begins at 5:30 P.M. Dinner at 6 P.M.
Cost is $19.00

 MEETING LOCATION: Summer Thyme’s (new location) 231 Colfax Ave. Grass Valley

A pre-paid reservation is required for members and guests.

DEADLINE: Sunday, March 16, 4:00 pm

Reserve & pay here (credit card or debit card w/VISA logo):


All reservations must be received by Sunday, April 13th.

For more information please contact Phyllis Orzalli or Suzanne Doyle.

April Menu:

Chicken or Vegetarian Enchiladas, gluten free
Organic Baby Greens Salad with Mediterranean dressing
Cookie Assortment, including gluten free
Coffee and Tea Bar: Regular & Decaf, Hot Water Urn & tea bags