February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
TDVAPM is an opportunity to engage youth, reach new audiences, raise awareness about dating abuse, and support young people in learning how to have safe and healthy relationships.
With the romance of Valentine’s Day at the forefront of the minds of many Americans this month, it might be easy to forget that February also marks the third annual National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). Although celebrating love and affection on February14th
is a longstanding tradition among adults and teens alike, we believe that it is also important for us to recognize the dark side of love—love when it turns into jealousy, anger, and violence.
In his 2011 proclamation declaring February 2013 as an opportunity to reach out to those who fall victim to that latter kind of love, President Obama spoke about the importance of parents, teachers, mentors, and friends of abused teens to become more conscious about the occurrence of abuse within teenage relationships. He explained that “young people can be afraid to discuss it, or they may not recognize the severity of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.” Awareness
is truly what the initiative is all about; by becoming active observers of the existence of abusive relationships among adolescents, we as a society can become more proactive in the lives of those who need help.
I have been fortunate enough to have friends and family who have had success in dealing with unhealthy relationships. However, as President Obama said, there are still many more out there who go unnoticed. We hope that this month—and every month—will be an occasion for adults and teens to have more open and honest discussions about relationships, especially when those relationships become harmful and destructive.
Pledge to raising awareness of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month by donating to WOMAN Inc today!
~ WOMAN Inc Volunteer
|The "Peace at Home" Campaign
Have you seen these signs around San Francisco? The signs are part of San Francisco’s “Peace at Home” campaign. A year-long public awareness campaign geared towards raising awareness of domestic violence and heightening the public’s knowledge about services for survivors of domestic violence. The campaign began in January with a press conference in which anti-domestic violence advocates unfurled a flag and artwork with images, words, and symbols from the 24 anti-domestic violence agencies funded by the City. The campaign now continues through ads in English, Spanish, and Chinese in high-traffic MUNI and walking routes throughout San Francisco. The ads feature a diverse array of survivors and a message that reads “Domestic Violence is a crime, and no one deserves to be abused. You have options. San Francisco Responds 24 Hours A Day.” Printed cards bearing the artwork and hotline numbers in multiple languages will be distributed to schools, libraries and recreation centers as well.
If you spot one of these signs around San Francisco with WOMAN Inc’s 24-hour domestic violence crisis line number on it, snap a picture, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Highlight--WOMAN Inc Support Groups
For many survivors, support groups provide a safe, nurturing space for healing from the numerous effects of domestic violence. Support Groups at WOMAN Inc, facilitated by Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) trainees/interns or volunteers, offer survivors an opportunity to share their experiences with peers and gain knowledge and important tools that will help them lead violence-free lives. The group setting at WOMAN Inc is specifically structured to provide a safe, nonjudgmental space for healing, learning, and growth. This type of sharing helps survivors break the cycle of silence and shame that so often accompany abuse.
During the course of the group, the participants:
In addition to facilitating the sharing of experiences, our support groups incorporate creative art projects. Many survivors have relayed their gratitude for the inspiration and strength they have gained from their participation in the group process. WOMAN Inc currently offers groups in both Spanish and English. The meetings are weekly.
learn about the dynamics of domestic violence and its effects
experience the support of peers and the resulting sense of community
learn new skills and resources in order to move forward and make healthier choices
experience a sense of empowerment, hopefulness, and improved self-esteem
Domestic Violence Suffered by LGBTQ Communities
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has released a study, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation. The study is based on interviews conducted in 2010 and obtained from 16,507 English- and/or Spanish-speaking men and women 18 years of age or older. Findings indicate that bisexual women in the US are at a higher risk of sexual and domestic violence than women who self-identify as lesbian or heterosexual. The study also found that lesbian women and gay men reported levels of intimate partner violence and sexual violence equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals.
For more information, please visit the WOMAN Inc blog.
Given the results of this study, it’s no surprise that WOMAN Inc has seen an increase in service provision to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) communities. This increase is due in part to our dedication to focus on creating a safe space within our agency for these communities. The increase has been rather dramatic. We saw a 28% increase in services provision to members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer communities and a 33% increase in service provision to those who identify as transgender.*
WOMAN Inc views our inclusion work as an ongoing process as opposed to a singular act. The team at WOMAN Inc has created a plan for our inclusion efforts, which includes intensive training at the Northwest Network in Seattle, Washington, creating a work group to review materials for gender neutrality, self-awareness exercises designed to challenge any heteronormative practices and/or beliefs, being transparent with our learnings and sharing them with the field, and seeking out volunteers that self-identify as members of LGBTQ communities.
This focus on inclusion could not have come at better time. We feel poised to tackle this issue, as we grow a survivor community that is truly inclusive and welcoming to us all, regardless of where we fall on the spectrum of gender or sexual orientation. As the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control study shows, as service providers and as members of social justice movements, we need to respond to ALL survivors of relationship abuse, including those that are members of LGBTQ communities.
*these statistics refer to clients who self-identify as members of LGBTQ communities.
Part of our work has revolved around checking our assumptions and we do not indicate gender or sexual orientation unless a survivor discloses this information to us.
~ LGBTQ Inclusion Work Group
Carolyn Cherry joined WOMAN Inc three years ago. Since then, she has been such an amazing addition to both our staff and volunteer teams. Carolyn is a dedicated advocate, having volunteered previously with a dual domestic violence and sexual assault agency in Tahoe before joining our community in San Francisco. Since then she has been a reliable peer counselor. She also trained new volunteers, served as our After Hours Crisis Line Coordinator, and provided major assistance with moving our office. In addition, Carolyn helps to coordinate our Moving to End Domestic Violence events and performs outreach in the community. She is basically the most helpful and down-to-earth person you could hope to work with. We all appreciate Carolyn's support, humor, and grounded way of doing tough work. She's a gem.
To learn more about Carolyn, click here
Having started this past November, Julia is one of our newest volunteers. But in the few short months that she has been here, she has become a valued part of our agency. She has massively strengthened our agency’s social media platforms, and she didn’t hesitate one heartbeat to take on the revamping of our WOMAN Inc Blog
. If you haven’t visited it yet, you should because it’s just so pretty! Besides doing the techy stuff, she contributes blog posts about our agency’s services, domestic violence information, and more. In addition to social media, Julia stepped in to help a fellow WOMAN Inc volunteer, Gina Li, plan a Karaoke Night Fundraiser, and now Julia and Gina will be heading up an events committee, made up of volunteers interested in throwing fundraisers for our agency. Yeah, she is just that awesome, and we feel fortunate to say she is a WOMAN Inc volunteer.
To learn more about Julia, click here
We Moved to End Domestic Violence
On January 25th
, the Moving to End Domestic Violence Group met to participate in the first wellness event hosted by WOMAN Inc. Born out of the idea for the Running to End Domestic Violence Quest
campaign, the wellness group allows WOMAN Inc to continue to connect with the community, encourage healthy lifestyles, and support WOMAN Inc services. The first Moving to End Domestic Violence meeting had individuals come together to take a walk from the WOMAN Inc offices to Dolores Park in the Mission District, as well as savor nutritious foods at a potluck afterwards. All of the participants left the event feeling positive and excited for the next meeting.
If you are interested in learning more about the Moving to End Domestic Violence Group, please contact email@example.com
. The next event will be a doggie walk. Pets are great companions, and it has been proven that they increase health and have positive effects on our well-being. Sadly, they also can be greatly affected by domestic violence. The doggie walk aims to celebrate the pets in our life and remind us all that they too need be taken care of when violence occurs. Make sure to check out our WOMAN Inc Facebook page
to learn more about the doggie event.
WOMAN Inc Meets with Harrington House
The Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) is coming to Crescent City. On January 17th
, Jill Zawisza and Mariya Taher from WOMAN Inc met with Jodi Hoone from Harrington House to discuss the expansion of this online database to their area. Crescent City is located in Del Norte County, a rural town not far from the Oregon border. Domestic violence agencies set in rural areas face many barriers in providing services to domestic violence survivors. Due to their geographic isolation and the survivors' difficulties with getting from one place to another, these agencies have to be able to provide many different services to help their clients, such as food banks, job training, or kennels to house survivors’ animals. Yet, the isolation can prove challenging in helping to meet all of the survivors' needs. For instance, Jodi from Harrington House mentioned that immigrant survivors might face language barrier problems. Many times their agency has had to rely on language interpretive services because they do not have anyone who could act as a translator. The DVIRC hopes to alleviate these challenges by connecting Harrington House to other agencies within California that may be able to provide assistance. Both WOMAN Inc and Harrington House are excited to embark on this project and to learn more about how the DVIRC could work as a beneficial tool for survivors of domestic violence.
How did you first learn about WOMAN Inc?
Donor Spotlight--Fan Kong
I briefly joined the staff as a Development Associate in 2011. Although I'm no longer working for the organization, I stay connected with WOMAN Inc's efforts through events, activities, and this newsletter, of course!
What inspired you to support WOMAN Inc's anti-violence efforts?
As a former staff member, I have admired firsthand the day-to-day efforts of the frontline and direct service staff here. The deliberate and incremental changes that WOMAN Inc has made in the movement against domestic violence has been an inspiration to the field.
What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
As local and state funding faces deep cuts, I only hope that our support can contribute to the general operating costs of crucial services that WOMAN Inc provides, such as being known as San Francisco City’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline. General operating funds are one of the most difficult areas to raise funds for, and therefore I recognize the daily contributions of WOMAN Inc's efforts.
Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
I just learned how to roast a whole chicken - it was surprisingly simple!
One Billion Rising in San Francisco
On V-Day’s 15th
Anniversary, February 14, 2013, the city of San Francisco took part in the One Billion Rising event. The campaign sought to activate women and men across every country to stand up against violence by walking out, dancing, rising up, and demanding an end to violence. Two staff members from WOMAN Inc, Mary Martinez and Mariya Taher, participated in the event on behalf of our agency and were moved by the outpouring of support seen across the city towards ending domestic violence.
"Standing amongst all of the anti-violence partner agencies, representing WOMAN Inc, was very powerful for me. It really spoke to what I'm extremely passionate about, which is being out in the streets demonstrating and demanding basic human rights for all individuals globally. And I appreciated that dance was used to raise awareness to the anti-violence movement!" ~ Mary Martinez
If you missed San Francisco’s One Billion Rising event, you can check out the video here: http://youtu.be/ghY76uYA964
Board Spotlight--Lija McHugh
How long have been with the WOMAN Inc Board?
Since January 2007.
As a Board Member, what are some of your responsibilities?
Working closely with the Executive Director on goal-setting and strategic planning, financial management and oversight, supporting fund development, and being a resource to the WOMAN Inc team to respond to whatever needs the organization has.
How did you come to be involved with WOMAN Inc?
The wife of one of my coworkers was involved, and, knowing my passion for women's issues and ending domestic violence, she connected me with WOMAN Inc back in late 2006.
What are you looking forward to as WOMAN Inc continues to grow?
Continuing to hear incredible stories of lives being changed and abuse ending. Continuing to grow in our relationships as a community, city, and state aligned on the vision of ending abuse. Continuing to extend our reach and improve our ability to provide quality services to more and more survivors, as well as our ability to measure the impact and long-term change resulting from this work.
What do you enjoy the most about WOMAN Inc?
The collaborative culture and shared passion of WOMAN Inc's staff, board, volunteers, partners, and community!
WOMAN Inc Volunteers *Heart* Healthy Relationships!
As a part of WOMAN Inc’s ongoing education efforts, volunteers got together just in time for Valentine’s Day to reflect on the importance of healthy dynamics in dating relationships. As a group, we focused especially on developing a definition of consent that would encapsulate the broad variety of valuable relationships that exist, because as different as each relationship can be, all have potential to benefit from healthy communication. We agreed that consent means more than one isolated conversation, and that it can be an enthusiastic process rather than a chore—as one volunteer framed it, the best iteration of consent is not just “yes,” but, “yes, please!” Together, we acknowledged that ultimately the best way to guarantee legitimate consent is through open, respectful communication among all partners in a relationship.
In addition to analyzing the bigger picture, each volunteer added a personal touch to the conversation by creating an individual “Dating Bill of Rights” (see picture). The volunteers produced a collection of customized edicts outlining what kind of treatment they expect and require from a relationship, and the collective results manifested some of WOMAN Inc’s favorite things: thoughtfulness, equality, humor, and (of course) love!
Moving to End Domestic Violence Doggie Walk
Saturday, March 23, 2013
12 noon--brown bag lunch, 12:30 pm--doggie walk
We will meet at Dolores Park in the Mission District in San Francisco. We will be meeting by the picnic tables next to the Children's Playground.
An extension of the Running to End Domestic Violence Campaign, WOMAN Inc has created a Moving to End Domestic Violence Wellness Group to continue to connect with the community, encourage healthy lifestyles, and support WOMAN Inc services. Wellness is a holistic concept that takes into account both physical and mental wellness. With this in mind, the Wellness Group will promote wellness through physical activity, eating healthy, greater connection to community, and healthier relationships. Pets are great companions, and it has been proven that they increase health and have positive effects on our well-being. Sadly, they also can be greatly affected by domestic violence. The doggie walk aims to celebrate the pets in our lives and remind us all that they too need to be taken care of when violence occurs. Make sure to check out our Facebook Doggie Walk
event page to learn more details about the Moving to End Domestic Violence doggie event.
The Vagina Monologues--A Performance to Support WOMAN Inc
Date: April 25-27 (subject to change)
Location: CEMEX Auditorium, Zambrano Hall, Stanford University. 641 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Details: Stanford students present a performance benefiting WOMAN Inc. And what a performance it will be: the famous Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler! Stay tuned for more details.
The Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women is accepting applications until February 28th
for a Friends Fellowship position for the 2013-2014 year. The Friends Fellowship program is designed to provide students, recent graduates and motivated individuals seeking career development with an opportunity for involvement with the Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women as well as an opportunity for increased understanding of the policies and initiatives underway to advance the status of women in San Francisco. For more information, please go to http://www.friendscosw.org/fellow
. Deadline is February 28, 2013.
The following in-kind gifts (new or gently used) will help WOMAN, 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 WOMAN, Inc. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (415) 864-4777 ext 317
WOMAN 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.