*June 2013*
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Program Highlight--Children's Program

For many children who may have experienced or witnessed domestic violence in their homes, having a safe, structured environment where they can process their feelings and be heard can be quite beneficial. We know that the effects of domestic violence on children can be devastating - sometimes leading to problems such as low self-esteem, behavior problems or even depression.  

Meeting simultaneously with our survivor's peer support group, our children's group offers a space for the children of these survivors to participate in healing art activities, talk about their experiences and give and receive peer support.  Our goal is for the children to come into a safe, warm environment that is free of judgment.  The group incorporates "A Window Between Worlds", a model that uses art as a healing tool.  The goal of engaging in art is to encourage self-expression, empowerment, and self-esteem.
In addition to art, the children engage in opening and closing circle time. Recognizing the need for children to come into a warm environment that is free of judgment, our opening circle provides the children comfort in knowing that creative expression is encouraged here and that no one will judge another person’s artwork. Group agreements are also created and modeled as it is an important part of creating a safe and nurturing environment.  One example of a group agreement given during the opening circle is “Everyone’s artwork is good.” Non-violence and healthy relationship-building are also constant themes that are incorporated throughout the group process to encourage the children’s healing.
To support our work through the Children's Program, please consider donating to W.O.M.A.N. Inc. today. Your gift will help dozens of children who have witnessed domestic violence to heal and begin living peaceful, violence-free, lives.
CC image courtesy of Kate Hiscock, http://www.flickr.com/people/slightlyeverything/

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Donor Highlight--Katinka Partridge
How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

Through my friend Mariya Taher, who works there.

What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s anti-violence efforts?

Domestic violence is such a widespread problem. I feel that it is often downplayed and swept under carpets. The work that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. does for the community is so important and makes a huge difference.

What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?

Get the word out and help raise more money for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s important programs and life-changing efforts.

Can you share one fun fact about yourself?

I have an acute fear of spiders. And snakes.

David B. Gold Foundation Awards $10,000 to the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center Project
In the May newsletter, we highlighted the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC). This website of collective information concerning available resources for survivors of domestic violence is changing the way domestic violence service providers collaborate. Now, the David B. Gold Foundation has awarded W.O.M.A.N., Inc. $10,000 to further strengthen the tool and its integration with the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. 24-hour domestic violence support line.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is the only California agency providing a hotline as its core service. The National Domestic Violence Hotline also has it as the main service, but its focus is not local. In fact, it refers calls to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. for Bay Area resource knowledge. The DVIRC works to bring together over 30 domestic violence agencies to share resource and bed availability. One-third of our callers want to know which shelter they should contact for a room immediately. The callers are not only individual survivors, but also domestic violence agencies and social service organizations. Keeping resource and bed availability information current will cut down on the number of calls a domestic violence survivor needs to make and will facilitate keeping that caller alive and safe. Thank you, David B. Gold Foundation, for investing in this vital tool to help survivors end the cycle of violence occurring in their lives.

Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center Training in San Jose
On May 16th, a training was held in San Jose at Next Door Solutions to further instruct the five member agencies of the Santa Clara Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium on becoming familiar with the DVIRC. The meeting was facilitated by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff members Jill, Mariya, and Tania. About 13 members from different agencies belonging to the consortium were present. The five participating agencies are Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Maitri, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, YWCA Support Network for Battered Women, and La Isla Pacifica Community Solutions.

The collaboration between W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and this Santa Clara county-based consortium started about a year ago when W.O.M.A.N., Inc. received a grant from Blue Shield Foundation to further expand the DVIRC. Since then, the two entities have been working closely on a number of aspects related to the DVIRC in hopes that consortium members will become even more comfortable accessing the system on a regular basis.

Several topics were covered at the training, such as how to update shelter census info and how to properly display the resources that each organization offers. The intention of this training was to contribute to a better understanding of the DVIRC and, in turn, encourage the five member agencies to use it on a regular basis and eventually be able to independently provide a daily shelter census availability update. A more comprehensive knowledge of the DVIRC will also encourage and simplify communication between the agencies that actively use it.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Community Education Series--Domestic Violence 101
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. proudly kicked off our first of three training sessions for our Quarterly Community Education Series on Wednesday, May 22nd at the downtown branch of the San Francisco Public Library. With a full house in attendance, the Outreach Team presented “Domestic Violence 101″–an hour and a half session focusing on just what domestic violence is, some common misunderstandings that prevail, and what services our agencies offer in support of survivors. Attendees included service providers and W.O.M.A.N., Inc. volunteers, as well as fellow San Franciscans looking for more information. Based on the great reception of our first training, we are looking to increase the number of seats available for the upcoming trainings. Please see the "Upcoming Events" section for the information about them.

Continuing Education--Learning About Assessment Skills
In May, we offered our volunteers an ongoing education meeting on the topic of assessment skills. We feel that in order to best support survivors, we must strengthen our ability to assess who we are talking to and what forms of support we can offer. The DV field has a history of marginalizing folks from queer and transgender communities and relying on gender as an indicator of who the survivor is. When we provide inclusive services and work with survivors from many communities, we must utilize a more dynamic approach to assessment. This also helps us set aside assumptions we might feel tempted to make about the person we are talking to based on their voice or their behaviors, as well as assumptions about the gender identity or sexual orientation of their partner.
Beyond improving our ability to work with queer and transgender communities, we also want to strengthen our ability to see the big picture of a survivor’s situation. We typically just get a snapshot of what’s going on, which can make it really difficult--if not impossible--to understand what the intention behind certain behaviors is. When we ask questions about what led up to or followed a violent situation, we are better able to understand whether this situation falls into the scope of our services and what sort of support and referrals would be appropriate. As a group, we talked through assessment skills rooted in our core team's training with the Northwest Network of bisexual, trans, lesbian and gay survivors of abuse. We also worked through some role play, giving folks a chance to try on these new skills. Volunteers were excited to shake up the way we assess each person's situation and to check out any assumptions or biases we may bring to this work.

Intern Highlight--Susan C. Pearman
How long have you been working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I have been at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. since 2003.

What do you do at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I am an Intern Marriage Family Therapist who works with survivors of domestic violence and their children in Spanish and English.

How did you come into this profession?

I came into this profession as a Feminist supporting women's health issues and psychotherapy.

What are you looking forward to as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow?

We emphasize safety and growth at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. I am looking forward to furthering our clients' healing and our support and communication as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continues to grow.

What do you enjoy most about working at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

Our activities, events, colleagues, and commitment. The women at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. are very multicultural, committed, and hard-working. So glad to be here.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Makes GreatNonprofits Top-Rated List for 2013
For the second year in a row, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has made the Top-Rated List for GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, our agency was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. received--reviews written by volunteers, donors, and clients. Posters reviewed their personal experiences with us as a service provider. For example, one person wrote: “W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is a wonderful nonprofit to volunteer for. Volunteering here gives you the satisfaction of being part of something meaningful and crucial for the community, as well as helps you improve your professional skills. The team at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is very nice and appreciative.” To learn more, check out our W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Blog. Want to share your own experience with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.? Visit GreatNonprofits and write a review about our agency today!

Volunteer Spotlight
Lucy Chen (left)

Lucy Chen came on board at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in January of this year, initially supporting our team via administrative and social media projects. She participated in our Survivor Advocate training, graduating in March, and shortly after became actively involved with our crisis line and Latina program. Lucy has put her Spanish speaking skills to great use here, supporting monolingual Spanish-speaking survivors with peer counseling, safety planning and referrals. She has also helped survivors to record their stories to share with the community. Lucy also helps with our outreach efforts and will soon be supporting our development work. Thanks for being such a rockstar! Read more about Lucy on our W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Blog.

Sandy Lopez (right)

Sandy Lopez joined W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in March of this year as she was wrapping up her studies at San Francisco State University. She has been an active contributor to our social media platforms via posts on Twitter and Facebook, blog posts, and contributions to our monthly newsletter. Sandy is a talented journalist and has lent her impressive writing skills and passion for this work to our awareness efforts. We are sad to see her leave, but so excited to see where her career goes. Thanks for all of your positivity, follow-through, and drive in supporting survivors of domestic violence, Sandy! Read more about Sandy on our W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Blog.

2013 Events

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Quarterly Community Education Series

San Francisco Public Library - Main Branch
100 Larkin Street, SF, CA 94102
Check-in: 5:15 p.m.
Programming: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

June 19th: Supporting Survivors
3rd floor, Martin Paley Room. 
This session will focus on what we as family, friends, and community members can do to support survivors of domestic violence, as well as what resources are available for all involved. Facebook event here

July 24th: Healthy Relationships
1st floor, Mary Louise Strong Room
This session will focus on what a healthy relationship is and how we can support one another in our relationships. Facebook event here.

Dates for the Fall Quarter Training Series to be announced in the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Newsletter.

A Happy Hour for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
When: June 27, 2013. 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Where: Pisco Latin Lounge, 1817 Market Street, SF, CA 94103

Details: The W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Events Committee invites you to hang out with volunteers and staff on June 27, 2013! The event will be held at Pisco Latin Lounge, a great local bar that boasts delicious (and inexpensive) tapas and cocktails, including the famous Pisco Sour. 10% of the proceeds of the Happy Hour go towards W.O.M.A.N., Inc.! Facebook event here.

Faux Queen Pageant
When: September 14, 2013
Where: Slim's, 333 11th Street, SF, CA 94103

Details: 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!


Community Announcements

The W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board of Directors is currently seeking candidates with strong leadership, governance, and fundraising skills as well as passion for our mission and social impact. Our Board is comprised of professionals from many industries and sectors, including investment banking, law, and nonprofit consulting. We are seeking to expand and diversify our Board to continue to serve and support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. so that it could achieve its maximum impact as an organization.

To apply:  Submit letter of interest and resume to jointheboard@womaninc.org
Qualifications:1) Passion for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.'s mission and social impact, 2) Experience in governance/leadership, communications/marketing, fundraising and fund development, strategic planning, and/or nonprofit.

To learn more, please visit the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Blog.


Wish List

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
  • Room/Cubicle Dividers
  • Laptops
  • People willing to throw a Party With Purpose Party for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. For more details, please contact outreach@womaninc.org or leave a message at (415) 864-4777 ext 317
  • W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Facebook Followers - https://www.facebook.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.