|Latina Program Client Asserts Her Right to End Violent Relationship
Laura is someone who always seems to have a smile on her face, and possesses a sense of humor that transcends language barriers. She is also a survivor of domestic violence. Her positive attitude is not the result of an easy life; as Laura herself often likes to remark, “after four years of therapy,” she has worked hard to get where she is today, and has demonstrated incredible personal resilience and growth along the way.
Laura first arrived to the United States in 2002 from her native Mexico looking for better economic opportunities. But along with her first job in this country came her first abusive relationship. “We had many conflicts,” Laura remembers, “because he had another way of thinking, a very chauvinist one. He was very jealous, very possessive, he just had other ideas. He had the idea that women were sexual objects, or he thought of them as the maids of the house.” Laura was eventually able to escape her abusive relationship, but like many survivors, was not out of the woods. Once again, Laura’s life was hijacked by domestic violence when her next partner, who had seemed trustworthy and sympathetic prior the relationship becoming intimate, turned to the same controlling and abusive tactics that her previous partner had used.
A concerned manager at her place of work gave Laura W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s contact information. At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Laura was able to access a Spanish-language domestic violence support group, obtain affordable legal counsel, and receive counseling from a Spanish-speaking therapist. Laura also recalls the importance W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s 24-7 Support Line played during the darkest days of her ordeal when emergencies occurred after business hours. In addition to learning about the cycle of abuse and the dynamic of power and control that distinguish domestic violence, Laura also acquired the tools to help her develop healthy, nonviolent relationships.
Today, Laura is in a happy, healthy marriage. She is also working on starting her own business and awaiting the results of her U-Visa application so that she can apply for permanent residency. These days, Laura has also become a vocal champion for community-based programs as a means for self-improvement amongst her friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, hoping they can find the support to better their lives the way that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was able to support her.
Laura is just one of the many immigrant survivors our agency helps every day. Each week, our agency is contacted by dozens of more survivors in need of help. Help us continue to provide support to this vulnerable population by donating to our agency today!
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Wishes Good Luck to Lily Krutel, Our Amazing Education and Prevention Manager
Lily Krutel has been an invaluable member of our team for over 3 years. During this time, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. underwent an amazing transition as an agency, to which Lily’s contributions have been substantial. Lily started as a volunteer in 2009. She later on became a paid advocate. Her reliability, authenticity, and talent for working with survivors of domestic violence impressed us all and we were honored to offer her the position of Volunteer Coordinator when it became available. Lily jumped into the role, and helped usher in new policies and procedures that added to our culture of inclusion and transparency--she’s also incredibly organized, which helps when you manage a huge program. Soon thereafter, she broadened her focus, and became our Education and Prevention Manager.
Again, Lily helped set the educational course of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. We might be biased, but we think we have one of the best volunteer and educational programs around; Lily is a huge part of why these programs have grown exponentially over the last few years. During times of calm and crisis, Lily has continually showed up for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and our clients. She’s offered client services and support for her team members when it was needed most. Although she is stepping away from her role as full time staff to further her education, this isn’t goodbye. Lily will always be an honored member of Team W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Her departure from our full time team does, however, present the perfect opportunity for us to show our appreciation for all the phenomenal ways she’s showed up for us over the years. Thank you Lily her for the exemplary work, your humor, and your friendship. You will be missed at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
Welcoming the Taproot Foundation Team to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is proud to announce our partnership with the Taproot Foundation
. In April, the grant-making foundation awarded our agency a service grant. These service grants pair nonprofits with professional volunteers, with the end goal of improving the nonprofit’s operations and ability to better serve their clients. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was awarded the Strategic Planning Prep Grant, in which a team of professional volunteers will help us gather information that will allow our agency to develop a strong strategic plan that will ensures we are meeting the needs of domestic violence survivors in our community. To help us accomplish this goal, a dedicated team of business professionals with a varying range of knowledge and experiences has been assembled under the guidance of Joe Cristando, the Account Director of the project. We are pleased to also welcome Andrea Dodge (Project Manager), Sara Matlock (Strategy Consultant), Nicole Roco (Strategy Associate), Suraj Bramania (Strategy Associate) to the team. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is very excited to work this group over the next few months and we want to thank them for volunteering their services to our agency and the clients that we seek to serve. Thank you!
Intern Highlight - Sierra Lindborg
1) How long have you been working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Since September 2012.
2) What do you do at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee. I do individual therapy, drop in crisis counseling and consultation and I used to facilitate the peer support group.
3) How did you come into this profession?
I majored in Political Science in my undergrad because I wanted to help people. I became interested in therapy because I realized I wanted to be able to help people in a more personal and direct way. I studied Gestalt Therapy for 3 years before deciding to study Counseling Psychology in Grad school and have always been drawn to working with underserved populations.
4) What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow?
I'm really hopeful that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. will continue to expand and look forward to the time we'll be able to offer extensive wraparound care to our clients. I'm also excited about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s growing role in serving the queer and trans communities.
5) What do you enjoy most about working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I love my clients! It's truly inspiring to see how courageous and resilient people can be in the most trying circumstances.
Volunteer Graduation at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
Our latest 48-hour Survivor Advocate training has come to a close, and with that, a new group of advocates are joining a movement dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence. A
special thanks to Elena Strasser from W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and Jenny McKenzie from The Riley Center for working together to facilitate a quality training for staff, volunteers, therapy trainees and community members. We are also extremely grateful to our community partners who give their time and energy to this training process: staff and volunteers from The Riley Center and W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Beverly Upton, Hediana Udarti, Kemi Mustapha, Jimi Gilroy, Emberly Cross, Tara Berta, Zephira Derblich-Milea, Jee Suthamwanthanee, and Jamie Cox. We couldn't do this without you!
And a congrats and welcome to the folks graduating and joining this important work: Brendan, Mei, Stephanie, Anna, Emi, Lauren, Lisa, Ylem, Martha, Ashley and Kate. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication!
Pre-Show Reception at Jazz Concert to Benefit the Domestic Violence Consortium
On the evening of June 26th, I had the honor of representing W.O.M.A.N., Inc. at a Pre-Jazz Concert Reception, where all proceeds benefited the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium
(a.k.a. “SFDVC” or “DVC” for short). During the reception, all of us were treated to generous amounts of cheese, crackers, and wine at “Gourmet & More”, a favorite local cheese shop of the two hosts of event--Beverly Upton and Jacqui Naylor.
Beverly Upton is the Executive Director of the DVC, which consists of 17 different anti-domestic violence agencies, who work together to provide holistic and well-coordinated services to San Francisco’s domestic violence survivors. Jacqui Naylor, a jazz singer and close friend of Beverly, graciously dedicated the pre-reception to the DVC and offered each and every guest a free copy of her latest CD, “Dead Divas Society” (a tribute to an eclectic bunch of “Divas” who have passed away, including Amy Winehouse, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and numerous others ).
In addition to enjoying the plentiful music, food, and drinks that night, I also had the chance to speak with other representatives from the anti-domestic violence community, all of whom so clearly share a deep-seated passion for ending domestic violence. In a field that understandably comes with hearing and helping people in disheartening situations, it always feels comforting to know that we are among a vast community of supporters to turn to, not only for valuable insight, but sometimes just a shoulder to lean on. Thank you Beverly, Jacqui, and everyone else I met that night for your hard work and support in doing this challenging, but crucial anti-domestic violence work!
~ Gina Li, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Volunteer
Pop-Up Concerts For A Cause Continues to Support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
The Pop-Up Concerts for a Cause
collaboration is still going on! Haven’t heard of it? The Pop-up Concerts for a Cause is a partnership between Hear It Local, Party Corps, Local Music Vibe, and The Bay Area Music Collective to bring local music and fundraising for community agencies together. Over the last few summer months, more than 5o businesses and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area have been throwing pop-up concerts to benefit five Californian nonprofits, including W.O.M.A.N. Inc.!
Here is how it works: Pop-up Concerts for a Cause’s website allows anyone to sign up to host a pop-up concert. Event hosts can search musical acts by categories like genre, amplification needs, and performance type. You pick a date; pay the artist (or allow guests to chip in); choose a fundraising goal; and set a minimum donation per attendee.
Already, W.O.M.A.N.,Inc. is aware of at least 4 Pop-Up Concerts that have benefited our agency and we’re excited at how popular these events have been around the city. Thank you to everyone who has hosted a party to benefit our services and of course a big thank you Heart It Local, Party Corps, Local Music Vibe, and The Bay Area Music Collective for putting all of this together!
Interested in organizing an event? Please check out Pop-up Concerts for a Cause’s website
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Partners with El/la, Transgender Survivors
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is pleased to announce its collaboration with another Mission-based community agency, El/la! El/la
is dedicated to serving the Spanish-speaking transgender community of San Francisco, and is a center of solidarity, safety, and support, where members of the organization come together to learn, socialize, and advocate for their rights. As a part of El/la’s health promotion and life issues group, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latina Program is facilitating a series of Domestic Violence 101 workshops where El/la members can acquire the knowledge to identify and avoid violent relationships, as well as the tools to develop healthy ones. The workshops are conducted in a seminar format to facilitate a mutual exchange of perspectives between volunteers and El/la members.
The domestic violence movement has achieved a great deal since its beginnings in the 1960s, yet many advocates and clients in the field have noted that many services have been designed to address heterosexual relationship abuse alone. Countless injustices have occurred in which LGBTQ survivors have been unable to access services they desperately need due to discrimination, whether the result of overt prejudice or thoughtless ignorance. Transgender survivors of domestic violence often deal with expressions of violence specific to their gender identity, in addition to the same manifestations of abuse that “traditional” (i.e. female, heterosexual) survivors do. This can include emotional abuse focused on the survivor’s gender performance, physical transition, refusal to use the survivor’s preferred name/pronoun, or physical abuse like sexual exploitation and destruction of the survivor’s clothing, accessories, or even hormone treatments. Additionally, transgender survivors are more likely to face discrimination from law enforcement, service providers, and their own friends and family who may love them but fail to understand their experience. These aspects of transgender survivors’ experience accessing domestic violence resources are of great concern to W.O.M.A.N., Inc., for as stated in our core values: “We are committed to survivor-centered services that respect the human rights and diversity of survivors. We believe that services for survivors should be easily accessed with minimal intrusion. Our aim is to eliminate many of the barriers to services that typically exist. We work toward inclusion whenever possible looking for ways in which our services are appropriate to support the survivor, and referring out for services when necessary.”
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is thus proud to partner with El/la
to promote equality in the greater community, and to improve the domestic violence field’s capacity to support all survivors to live lives free of violence. See this article on our blog.
Training DV Agencies on the Domestic Violence Information & Referral Center
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. (WI) has been quite busy the last few months training agencies in the Bay Area, as well as agencies in other parts of the state to utilize and implement the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) to better serve their clients. This two year old website assists domestic violence service providers in giving proper referrals to clients as well as assists in fostering a sense of community between different agencies spread out over a distance. WI Staff members, Mariya Taher and Tania Parks have been conducting trainings to teach various agencies how they may use the system effectively to build collective capacity in the domestic violence field. In the last few months, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has held trainings at Asian Women’s Shelter, Riley Center, Survivor Restoration Program, SF District Attorney's Office, Victim Services Division, Safe Start, Narika, Our agency is excited about that the DVIRC’s reach is expanding throughout the Bay Area and we look forward to the day when the DVIRC becomes a commonplace tool for all domestic violence agencies in helping to serve their clients.
Continuing Education Session: W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Services
A small group of eager volunteers gathered on July 22 to gain a deeper understanding of the programs W.O.M.A.N., Inc. offers to survivors of domestic violence. Paola Souto, Latina Program Manager, and Ina Moon, Clinical Services Manager presented an in-depth look at the Latina Program
, Peer Counseling Program
, Therapy Program
, Support Group
, and Children’s Group
. Participants worked through case scenarios to better understand how to assist survivors to access these crucial services.
As part of a holistic approach, there is a natural flow between the programs at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Often, survivors will utilize several or all of these services at once. Each of these programs is designed to be easily accessed by survivors, supporting their unique needs for healing. Usually, survivors' first contact with our agency is by talking to a trained volunteer on the Crisis Line or during the Drop-In Support hours, and as such it is crucial for these volunteers to be fully prepared to offer information and understand how all the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. programs connect with each other.
We hope to offer this training a few times per year to keep volunteers up to date with improvements in our programs and services.
Successful W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Fundraiser at Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem!
Round two of W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Happy Hour Fundraiser series this summer was held on Thursday, July 18th from 5-7 pm
at Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem
, a local bar in the Mission District of San Francisco that serves hearty American food and classic drinks. The first “We <3 W.O.M.A.N., Inc.” Happy Hour Fundraiser took place on June 27th
at Pisco Latin Lounge.
Both events were put on by the Events Committee.
The Events Committee
at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., an all-volunteer group, is one of the agency’s newest volunteer opportunities, grown out of an increasing need and interest to not only help raise crucial funds for the agency, but also to spread the word about domestic violence and other related issues. One of the overarching visions of the committee is to address the issues that are directly and indirectly related to domestic violence with the community in mind.
Throughout the night, they held charity raffle drawings for a variety of prizes including fun pairings of Trader Joe’s
items such as the “Caffeine Gift Set” (Chai Tea, Coffee & Hot Chocolate,), a $20 gift card from Philz Coffee
, two bottles of Champagne Cider from The Mint Karaoke Lounge
, a $50 gift card from Madrone Art Bar
, and a $100 gift card from Falletti Foods
! Additionally, 10% of all the bar’s proceeds during the event hours were generously donated to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.!
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all of the business sponsors who donated the wonderful raffle prizes, all of the event attendees for their heartwarming enthusiasm and support, and to Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem
for graciously providing the setting for our fundraiser as well as donating part of the proceeds.
With all of your incredible generosity, the Events Committee was able to raise a grand total of $631! All proceeds will help sustain critical services to survivors of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., including a 24/7 Crisis Line, Drop-In Consultations, Support Groups, Children’s Group, Individual Therapy, Bilingual Services, and Community Outreach Education! Thank you all again!
If you would like to join the committee or are interested in learning more about all of the other ways to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Spotlights - Stephanie Nguyen and Nina Randall
Stephanie Nguyen joined the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team in February of this year. She participated in our February-April Survivor Advocate training, and moved on to actively volunteer on our 24-hour support line, with our children's groups and with outreach events in the community. Stephanie is extremely reliable, thoughtful, and has such a strong work ethic and desire to grow as an advocate. In addition to her work as a domestic violence advocate, Stephanie is active in other social justice work in the Bay Area. Such a dedicated and funny addition to our community of volunteers!
To learn more about Stephanie, see her interview post on our blog.
Nina Randall came on board in April of this year, but with all of the support she has given, it feels much longer. Nina is a studying graphic design and has lent her talents to an array of projects at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. She has helped to create graphics for our social media, put together a stylish volunteer program brochure, fliers for events, and will be helping to create the designs for our new website. What a gem! We are so glad to be working with Nina, and can't wait to see what else she creates to support our work.
To learn more about Nina, check out what she has to say on our blog.
Community Learning Collective: Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing Across Agencies
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. works closely with CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse), Asian Women's Shelter, CUAV (Community United Against Violence), The Riley Center and La Casa de las Madres to provide shared trainings and workshops to domestic violence advocates through our Community Learning Collective. Together, representatives from each agency planned and facilitated our last training on Supporting Transgender Survivors in April. Overall, the event was a success and the Community Learning Collective is excited to continue offering these training and community building opportunities!
The Community Learning Collective is currently planning a workshop focused on Domestic Violence & Disability to be held in September, following a similar structure as the last workshop: education on issues impacting survivors with different abilities, a panel of providers and advocates working in the (dis)ability community, and small group work allowing for advocates to practice their skills in supporting survivors with different abilities. In the future, we hope to provide a training on Supporting African & African American Survivors, based on research conducted by Kemi Mustapha from Bay Area Legal Aid. As a collective, we have prioritized our trainings to focus on education and improved service provision for community members who are marginalized and face many unique barriers in accessing support and services. Our hope is to facilitate continued learning, increasingly effective service provision, and community building through our ongoing work together. While many social service agencies find themselves doing their work in silos, we strive to connect with each other and strengthen our efforts to reduce and respond to violence in our communities.
Community Education: Building Healthy Relationships Workshop
On Wednesday, July 24th, W.O.M.A.N. Inc. hosted the last of the three part Community Education Series: Healthy Relationships at the San Francisco Public Library - Downtown branch. Great conversations and tips were shared in the development and maintenance of healthy relationships for all. We were thrilled to close this fantastic series with many of the same participants who have attended the previous sessions. Look for the next series to begin in the Fall! Thanks so all who attended and we look forward to more great conversations in the future.
Happy Hour Fundraiser for La Red Latina
Thursday, August 22, 2013 from 6-9 pm
515 Broadway Street
San Francisco, CA
THE BEST LITTLE LATIN AMERICAN BAR
IN SAN FRANCISCO
JOIN US FOR AN EXTENDED HAPPY HOUR WITH EXQUISITE WINES AND FOOD IN OUR FUNDRAISER FOR THE 3rd CONFERENCE OF LA RED LATINA 2013!
APÓYANOS EN LA RECAUDACIÓN DE FONDOS PARA
LA 3ra CONFERENCIA DE LA RED LATINA 2013
ÚNETE A COMPARTIR EXQUISITOS VINOS
Y RICA COMIDA A PRECIO DE HAPPY HOUR!
La Red Latina es una coalición de agencias dedicadas a erradicar la violencia
doméstica y de género en las comunidades Latinas.
La Red Latina is a coalition of agencies committed to eradicate domestic and
Pop-Up Concerts for a Cause
Various venues in SF
This summer, more than 50 businesses and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area are going to throw pop-up concerts that will benefit five Californian nonprofits, among them W.O.M.A.N., Inc.! This project, called Pop-up Concerts for a Cause, is a collaboration between Hear It Local, Party Corps, Local Music Vibe, and The Bay Area Music Collective.
Blog Link: http://womaninc.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/pop-up-concerts-support-w-o-m-a-n-inc/
Faux Queen Pageant
September 14, 2013
Slim's, 333 11th Street, SF, CA 94103
Faux Queen: “Drag queen trapped in a woman’s body.” This annual pageant benefits a number of community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, including W.O.M.A.N., Inc. More information to follow on our Blog!
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/196821160485150/
The following in-kind gifts (new or gently used) will help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to support survivors of domestic violence in a holistic and relevant manner:
Small rolling luggage case for laptop
Digital camera with video
Gift Cards for Walgreens, Safeway, Ross, local restaurants, etc. (For survivors and children who must flee without funds).
Motel Vouchers (for those survivors who may only need one night in a confidential location until they can find a shelter or leave town).
Muni Passes, Muni Passport or Muni single ride tickets, or BART tickets
People willing to throw a Party With Purpose Party for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. For more details, please contact email@example.com or leave a message at (415) 864-4777 ext 317
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Facebook Followers - https://www.facebook.com/WOMANInc
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Twitter Followers - https://twitter.com/WOMANinc
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Pinterest Followers - http://pinterest.com/womaninc/
To learn more about contributing to our wish list or making other types of donations, call Jill Zawisza at 415-864-4777, Ext 306.