Gualala Arts logo


Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
Women's Justice Center

with Marie De Santis
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5

Activist Marie De Santis, founder and director of Women's Justice Center in Santa Rosa, is speaking at Gualala Arts Center on Thursday, January 31 about her work to end violence against women and children. The center has a special focus on Latina and other underserved communities in Sonoma County.

Women's Justice Center Founded in 1998, the Women's Justice Center has helped over 4,000 individual victims of rape, domestic violence and child abuse. The organization has also provided counseling to many more clients. The center makes special efforts to insure the women and children do not lose their housing and can remain in the area. It works with police and the courts to restrain the perpetrators of these acts.

De Santis will provide an overview of the current situation in Sonoma County and describe the work she does to assist the victims as well as proposals to improve conditions. She adds, "The need is obvious as our website - - is visited by over 1,800 people a day from all around the world." Spanish-speakers may also use

The organization publishes daily accounts of violence-against-women news, distributes bilingual materials and a newsletter, conducts workshops, and investigates civil rights legal cases. One such case in 2002 resulted in establishing a woman's constitutional rights to police protection in 11 western states. This judgment stemmed from the case of Theresa Macias, who unsuccessfully called police twenty-five times for help before she was murdered.

After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1969 with a degree in chemistry, De Santis was drawn into the civil rights movement. She also worked for nine years as a captain of a commercial fishing vessel and authored two books on west coast fisheries. After selling her boat she worked on various fish related environmental issues for ten years.

In 1991 she turned her interest to helping other women as she realized her freedom grew from the struggles of women before her, especially victims of rape and domestic violence. With a belief that this problem is completely solvable once it receives the proper attention, she founded the Women's Justice Center seven years later.

The talk begins at 7:00 p.m. in Coleman Auditorium. An admission of $5 will be collected at the door. There will be time for questions after the formal presentation.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.