Mental Wellness Foundation Awards $20,000 to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we provide a continuum of care to survivors of domestic violence, meaning we seek to serve survivors at any point during their abusive relationship, whether they are still in the relationship or not, seeking shelter or not, or in crisis or out of crisis. We seek to serve not only our current clients, but also former clients who would still like to be connected to our agency. The Mental Wellness Foundation has provided a grant to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to help our agency continue to provide our range of holistic services to domestic violence survivors. Additionally, with this grant, we hope to strengthen our collaborative relationships with outside service providers and form deep meaningful relationships that can increase the collective impact towards ending domestic violence. Thank you Mental Wellness Foundation for supporting our agency!
Pop-Up Concerts Support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
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.
Here is how it works: you select the organization(s) your party will benefit, choose a musician or group from the Concerts for a Cause database, decide on the date, and invite your friends and acquaintances to the show. Pop-up Concerts for a Cause will help with the logistics. You will set a fundraising goal (typically from $200 to $2,000) and a minimum donation amount per attendee (usually $5-50). The attendees will donate online. The artist fee is $100–you can choose to pay it yourself or deduct it from the proceeds. As for the concert venue, it can be anywhere, from your office to your living room.
Already, 20 or so pop-up concerts have occurred all over the city. On Friday, June 21st, dozens of musicians participated in “Pop-up The Parklets,”
an all-day festival that brought live music performances to San Francisco’s parklets (i.e. recreational spaces in front of shops and cafes). All of the free, open-air concerts raised money for local charities, including our agency.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. also wants to thank Michael Starita, Chris James, and Tam Starita for organizing a Popups4causes
event supporting our agency at Casa De Fonkey Donkey
on Saturday, July 6th! Their event featured a live performance by Chris James and The Showdowns!
We are so grateful to be included in this wonderful fundraising series that brings music and people together to support local non-profits. If you are interested in organizing an event, please click here on Pop-up Concerts for a Cause
Volunteer Spotlight: Events Committee
Our fabulous Events Committee is lead by three dedicated volunteers: Julia Glosemeyer
, Gina Li
, and Chanel Garcia. With the support of staff member Mariya Taher
, the committee has worked together to plan and throw fundraising parties to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Some of their latest endeavors are a happy hour at Pisco Latin Lounge
and planning our 35th Anniversary Party coming up in August (more info on that soon!). Julia, Gina and Chanel have shown a great deal of creativity and excitement for throwing events that help to sustain our vital services and also help to build community and connect more survivors with support. We're really excited to welcome new committee members Ylem Rubio and Jessica Hoh, and to see our amazing community of supporters at our upcoming events!
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. June Community Education Series: Supporting the Friends and Family of Survivors
On June 19th, WOMAN Inc. hosted the second session in the three part Community Education Series: Supporting Friends & Family of Survivors. This session focused specifically on providing practical tools for participants in providing support for their loved ones: Peer Counseling Builders & Blockers, Checking Assumptions, Red Flags, Providing Referrals, Safety Planning, Self-Care. Case studies and group activities allowed the participants to utilize their skills as well as ask questions of our fantastic presenters. We ended by tying it all together to promote the importance of DV prevention and positive ways to respond to DV in your community.
Be sure to check out the third session in the series: "Building Healthy Relationships." This session will focus on what a healthy relationship looks like and how we can support one another in our relationships.
What: “Healthy Relationships”
San Francisco Public Library – Main Branch, 1st Floor: Mary Louise Strong Room
100 Larkin Street, SF, CA
Check-in: 5:15 p.m.; Programming: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Check out the Facebook Event
for more details:
Dates for the Fall Quarter Training Series will be announced in the W.O.M.A.N. Inc. Newsletter.
Ongoing Education - Supporting Friends and Family of Survivors of Domestic Violence
While traditional anti-domestic violence organizations can be a crucial source of support for survivors, they are often the last resource a survivor connects with. Most people initially reach out to their friends, family, co-workers and community groups before contacting an anti-DV organization, and most never involve law enforcement. For this reason, engaging a survivor’s support system and providing skills and strategies for giving emotional support and addressing safety concerns is a powerful and necessary way to prevent and effectively respond to domestic violence in our communities.
At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we frequently receive calls on our support line from the friends and family members of a survivor. They might understandably feel unsure of how to be helpful, and may feel scared for their loved one and overwhelmed by the situation. Staff members Jill Zawisza
and Lily Krutel
facilitated an ongoing education meeting on this topic in June so that our advocates feel better prepared to support these community members. We're excited to offer more trainings on the topic and to help bolster up community responses to domestic violence.
Intern Highlight -- Elsa Paris
1) How long have you been working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I have been working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. three years. I started in September of 2010 as a trainee therapist.
2) What do you do at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Since March 2013 I have been working as a bilingual Intern Marriage and Family Therapist who works mostly with Spanish speaking survivors of domestic violence and their children. The majority of them are monolingual speakers.
3) How did you come into this profession?
I came into this profession due to my desire to help individuals' and families' mental well-being.
4) What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow?
I look forward to continuing to provide psycho-education around the dynamics of abusive relationships to my clients and to passionately advocate for their well-being. Also, I look forward to embrace and learn with every direct relevant experience I have when providing our services to individuals, families and children in crisis.
5) What do you enjoy most about working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I love that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is very much a community based organization which advocates for individuals and/or families that had experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. I love that as part of this organization we help and reach out to the Spanish speaking community, and for the most part, I enjoy the feminist atmosphere that distills from most of the staff and volunteers that work in this organization.
Increasing Service Access to African American Domestic Violence Survivors
In the spring of 2012, Kemi Mustapha, a staff member of Bay Area Legal Aid (BALA), contacted W.O.M.A.N., Inc. about a project she was working on. Kemi noticed that, even though Africans and African-Americans participated in all of BALA’s legal programs, only a small number of survivors from these communities used BALA’s domestic violence services. As we know, domestic violence occurs in all communities regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic class, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, and level of education. So Kemi decided to organize an inter-agency discussion around this issue. This is how the Domestic Violence Services for African and African-American Survivors Workgroup was created in July 2012.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latina Program Manager, Paola Souto, participates in these meetings organized by BALA, along with the Riley Center, the SF Domestic Violence Consortium, Glide, the Survivor Empowerment Project of the Sheriff's Department, Victim Services at SF District Attorney, and the Bayview/Hunter’s Point Community Center.
The objective of the workgroup is to improve access to domestic violence services for African and African-American survivors in the Bay Area, taking into account the unique obstacles faced by these communities, such as institutional oppression, racism, and lack of specific resources and agencies.To accomplish this objective, the group developed a series of steps, starting with a BALA outreach campaign targeting the African and African-American populations, holding pro-bono legal clinics at the YMCA- Bayview, and organizing focus groups with survivors to determine what services and needs these communities might need. Additionally, the workgroup decided on creating ongoing trainings for volunteers and agencies to help them better understand the sensitivities around working with African and African American survivors.
To learn more about this project, please visit the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. blog
Participating in this workgroup has been important to W.O.M.A.N, Inc. because we strive for serving underprivileged communities. We believe every survivor deserves to have access to quality services and if we see a gap, we feel as a field that it is our responsibility to work towards bridging it.
Staff Member Mary Martinez Attends the Strong Field Project
On June 11 The Strong Field Project
- a four-year program whose stated goal is to build a strong, coordinated network of domestic violence service providers in California - launched its third cohort of the Leadership Development Program. The kick off retreat took place in lovely Aptos, Ca where 20 domestic violence leaders from around the state came together to meet, share personal stories, network, share resources, and were given an opportunity to learn new leadership skills. California’s urban, rural and suburban areas were all represented which made it that much more exciting because diversity is something The Strong Field values! Me too! Something that made the third cohort’s kick off retreat extra special was that the time coincided with Cohort II’s graduation and also Cohort I was in attendance, so having the opportunity to share stories, resources, and ideas on how to strengthen the domestic violence community felt very rewarding.
The retreat itself was intensive; there were a couple of days where we spent 12-14 hours together. During those four days the retreat topics included models of leadership, leadership competencies, individual talents and strengths, coaching and developing others, situational leadership, and peer coaching. Included in the retreat topics we had facilitated discussions with all 56 cohort members and we also learned some tai chi! It was comforting knowing I wasn’t the only person who felt a little overwhelmed with this information. Many of us also shared similar questions relating to how we might incorporate these learnings in a way that works for each of us. More importantly though, it was extremely exciting to be at a table with a diverse group of individuals who are devoted to the same cause.
At the end of the fourth day I was filled with gratitude and appreciation for the leadership program, for the staff at Compass Point and especially the 20 advocates in my cohort. I’m excited for the next 18 months and for the exciting things that may come out of this program. Lastly, I want to end with something another cohort member said to me at the retreat, “I heard it’s so much fun working with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.!”
~ Mary Martinez, Peer Services Manager
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Visits the Coalition for Family Harmony in Oxnard for the DVIRC Project
From June 25-26th
, staff members, Mariya, Community Liaison Manager, and Jill, Executive Director, visited the Coalition for Family Harmony
in Oxnard to train domestic violence advocates at that agency on how to utilize the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC).
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has partnered with this suburban based domestic violence agency to learn more about how the DVIRC can be useful for a DV agency in an area not saturated with other social service agencies such as the Bay Area in general is. Based on initial feedback from the advocates at the agency, the Coalition for Family Harmony believes the Community aspects of the system will be the most beneficial for their agency. In particular, this agency will be utilizing the online discussion forums to communicate with domestic violence agencies in others parts of the state to learn best practices and gain insights on how these other agencies operate. In addition, as a result of the June meeting with W.O.M.A.N., Inc., the Coalition for Family Harmony will also begin to input their own shelter bed availability information on the DVIRC. Meaning for those survivors who must travel great distances to get away from their abuser, this information will be available for advocates working to assist these survivors to become safer.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. will be collecting data to ascertain the progress made in utilization of the system by the Coalition for Family Harmony over the next few months. For more information, see W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s blog post
on this topic.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s Happy Hour at Pisco Latin Lounge Raises Funds for Survivors
On Thursday, June 25th
, 2013, the Events Committee at W.O.M.A.N. Inc.
hosted a Happy Hour Benefit Night at Pisco Latin Lounge
to raise funds for the agency. The bar generously donated 10% of all their proceeds from 5-7pm to W.O.M.A.N. Inc.; additionally, community members who came out that night graciously donated as well! Thanks to you all, we were able to raise about $200! All proceeds will directly help sustain critical services for survivors of domestic violence, including case management
, drop-in services, short-term and long-term therapy
, bilingual services
, support groups
, community outreach education, and a 24/7 crisis hotline
. From all of us at W.O.M.A.N Inc., we would like to extend a big THANK YOU
to Pisco Latin Lounge
and all the attendees
The Happy Hour Benefit Night was a laid-back and fun way of gathering community members together while spreading the word out about W.O.M.A.N. Inc, whose bold, ultimate goal is to abolish domestic violence altogether. While Happy Hours and Domestic Violence are not exactly synonymous, it is worthy to note that in the field of domestic violence, we advocate a lot about self-care amongst ourselves and our clients. Working in the field of domestic violence inevitably entails hearing extremely disheartening stories from survivors and their networks alike. At W.O.M.A.N Inc., one of the key things we try to work with survivors on is for them to recognize their own strength; for them to realize that they are worthy of being treated well. Since survivors are so often denigrated, we work alongside with them to slowly reestablish their sense of self-worth and to help them navigate potential routes of support. Activities that survivors may once have enjoyed may have been sacrificed in the face of an abusive relationship. It is very important that we work with survivors and ourselves on maintaining a healthy self-concept so that we can ensure the most optimal care for all!
~ Gina Li, Volunteer Events Committee
Community Education Series: Healthy Relationships
Interested in learning more about healthy relationships? This session will focus on what constitutes a healthy relationship and how we can support each other in a relationship.
Wednesday, July 24th
San Francisco Public Library – Main Branch
100 Larkin Street, SF, CA 94102
1st Floor: Mary Louise Strong Room
Check-in: 5:15 p.m. Program: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Dates for the Fall Quarter Training Series to be announced in the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Newsletter
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s 35th Birthday Bash
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. will soon be celebrating its’ 35th birthday and you're invited to join in the festivities! There will be speakers from the community, a raffle with lots of cool prizes, and even a new drink named after the agency.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Virgil's Sea Room,
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/169635263217067/
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!