|A Little WOMAN Inc History: One Survivor's Story
Here at WOMAN Inc, we work day in and day out to support domestic violence survivors. Our agency has been doing this since 1978, when it was founded by Deborah Clifford, James Foley, and Linda Pershing Foley as a two-bedroom shelter for survivors. The organization quickly realized that additional options were needed by survivors who, for many reasons, did not want to enter shelters. In 1979, the Crisis Line was created, which began receiving approximately 25-30 calls per month. We now receive over 21,000 calls a year! Soon after the Crisis Line was instituted, the agency also began providing counseling and support groups. In 1984, from the partnership of WOMAN Inc and Tanya Neiman of the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the San Francisco Bar Association, a restraining order clinic was established. WOMAN Inc became a founding member of what is now the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, which to this day provides survivors with the option of obtaining a temporary restraining order.
Recently, a former client, who would like to go by Jane Doe, reached out to our agency to share her experiences at WOMAN Inc. Jane was a client in the early 1980s. During a time of distress, she reached out to WOMAN Inc and joined a support group, attended workshops, and participated in art therapy and individual counseling. WOMAN Inc was also able to assist her in obtaining a temporary restraining order from her abuser. Years later, Jane reported to our agency that she has been in a healthy relationship for years to a committed partner, who she met and formed a relationship with after a long cycle of abusive relationships. In her own words, she says,
“The services that I received from WOMAN Inc were instrumental in helping me learn how to make better choices, set boundaries, and learn what a healthy relationship looks like so I could model my own life course in a positive way. I am living proof that what your organization does makes a lifelong difference for both individuals and the larger community. Working with your organization completely changed the trajectory of my life, and I thank you for helping me through a very difficult time of change and self-discovery.”
Learning about Jane’s story both thrilled the staff and reminded us that WOMAN Inc has a long history of empowering survivors of domestic violence, a history that spans decades and involves many people who called themselves domestic violence advocates, long before any of the current staff joined the WOMAN Inc team. We are so thankful to these folks for establishing WOMAN Inc and paving the way for future services provided by the agency. Without your help, hundreds of survivors of domestic violence would not have been able to receive the services they needed to create lives free of violence.
To support WOMAN Inc, please click "Donate" below!
|Moving to End Domestic Violence Doggie Walk
On Saturday, March 23, animals and humans alike participated in a walk against domestic violence. On a sunny day in San Francisco, pets and their owners came together in Dolores Park to celebrate the bond shared between them, and to raise awareness in the community about domestic violence and the distress it inflicts on survivors, including non-human family members such as dog and cat companions.
Participants in the doggie walk included WI staff, volunteers, former clients, community partners, friends…and eighteen four-legged creatures, including a veritable pack of chihuahuas! The group met and socialized together at Dolores Park before taking a stroll through the Mission up to the Castro, where the discovery of a crème brulee truck made for a sweet ending. Such fun was had by all that a 2nd
Doggie Walk is in talks for next year. Thanks to all who made it out for the walk, and stay tuned for updates on our monthly Moving to End Domestic Violence events by visiting the Moving to End Domestic Violence Facebook page
Moving to End Domestic Violence:
WOMAN Inc has started a wellness group 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 promotes wellness through physical activity, eating healthy, greater connection to community, and healthier relationships.
Donor Highlight--Semifreddi's Bakery
What is your name?
How did you first learn about WOMAN Inc?
My friend invited me to a WOMAN Inc fundraising dinner last year as well as to recent events like the Doggie Walk Against DV. I was impressed by the organization and its efforts.
What inspired you to support WOMAN Inc's anti-violence efforts?
Violence sucks. Violence in the home sucks even more, it’s unthinkable. We here at Semifreddi’s greatly appreciate the work that you do at WOMAN Inc and we understand your funding challenges.
What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
We hope that through WOMAN Inc and other charitable and nonprofit organizations we support relief will be felt by their staff and administrators and at the level of need… We believe that it is simply our obligation as a successful family business to be active in, and support the community around us--the community that supports us.
Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
I shave once a week.
WOMAN Inc Joins National Call for Immigration Reform
The debate on current immigration legislation is regaining momentum this year. On Wednesday, April 10, immigration reform activists held rallies on a National Day of Action to protest the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants carried out by the Obama administration. WOMAN Inc was represented at the San Francisco rally by Volunteer Coordinator Lily Krutel and Latina Program Assistant Catherine Connor-Moore, who carried signs voicing support of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and objecting to the controversial Secure Communities deportation program, under which 134,378 immigrants were deported between 2008 and 2011. Although S-Comm’s stated purpose is to deport immigrants guilty of serious crimes, 74% of those deported were convicted of misdemeanors or not at all, including many erroneously detained survivors of domestic violence.
While the arguments against S-Comm are numerous, the effect the program has had on domestic violence survivors is one of primary concern for WOMAN Inc and our clients. Fear of contact with law enforcement and consequential detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement dissuades many survivors from calling the police to report their abusers, leading to a lack of repercussions for abusers and the perpetuation of domestic violence in our community. WOMAN Inc’s mission is to empower survivors to lead violence-free lives, and Secure Communities has proven to be a barrier to this goal for countless immigrant survivors. Please join WOMAN Inc in supporting immigrant survivors by demanding the reform of national immigration policies.
WOMAN Inc Program Highlight -- Latina Program
WOMAN Inc’s Latina Program was established in response to the growing need for specialized support for monolingual Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence. Through the Latina Program and participating staff and volunteers our clients have access to Spanish-language therapy, support groups, peer counseling, and case management.
Latina Program Manager Paola Souto joined the WOMAN Inc team in 2011, providing case management and advocacy to the program’s clientele. Her work includes educating clients about available social services as well as the U.S. legal and immigration systems, accompaniment to court dates and other critical appointments, translation, and providing referrals to external community agencies specific to the clients’ needs. Since the beginning of 2012, bilingual support for existing and prospective Latina Program clients has expanded thanks to the incorporation of Spanish-speaking members of the volunteer program, who complete a supplemental training in order to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to support immigrant survivors.
The Latina Program holds consultation hours for prospective clients during three weekly windows: Mondays, 2pm-3:30pm; Wednesdays, 11am-12:30pm; and Fridays, 10am-1:30pm. Spanish language support is available around the clock via WOMAN Inc’s 24/7 crisis line. This high level of service accessibility is made possible thanks to our dedicated volunteers in the office and on the crisis line.
To read more on the Latina Program, visit WI Blog - Latina Program
Ongoing Education: Technology & Domestic Violence
Technology can be very helpful to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking, however it is important to also consider how technology might be misused. On March 28th
, staff member Mariya facilitated an ongoing education meeting to help volunteers focus in on both the beneficial and adverse affects of technology in domestic violence situations and how to offer safety planning guidelines to survivors. Some Technology Tips are included below:
Search for your name on the Internet
– Major search engines such as “Google” or “Yahoo” may have links to your contact information. Search for your name in quotation marks: “Full Name”. It’s good to be aware of what information is on the internet about you and to remove it if possible.
Use a safer computer
– If anyone abusive has access to your computer, he/she might be monitoring your computer activities. Try to use a safer computer when you look for help, a new place to live, etc. It may be safest to use a computer at a public library, community center, or Internet café.
Change phone use options
– When making or receiving private calls, try not to use a shared or family cell phone because cell phone billing records and phone logs might reveal your location to an abuser. Try using pre-paid phone cards, or Internet Phone options (Google Voice or Vonage). You can also contact WOMAN Inc to learn about cell phone donation programs that provide recycled cell phones to survivors of abuse and stalking.
For more information regarding safety planning and technology, please call our 24-hour domestic violence crisis line at (415) 864-4722
Ongoing Education: Supporting Queer & Transgender Survivors
Every month, we facilitate ongoing education meetings in an effort to continue learning how to best support survivors and each other, and to create opportunities to build a stronger community within WOMAN Inc. In April, we focused on supporting queer and transgender survivors of domestic violence as part of our larger effort to provide more inclusive services to these communities. Staff members Jill, Mary and Lily facilitated a session focused on understanding terms related to working with LGBTQ communities, some of the unique ways in which queer and transgender folks might experience abuse, and how we as advocates can be better allies. Participants helped to create a safe and supportive space for some learning and unlearning, and enriched the conversation with their diverse perspectives and experiences. Thanks to our advocates who are equally committed to our inclusion efforts!
Thank You WOMAN Inc Therapy Program Interns!
The Therapy Program at WOMAN Inc is celebrating the closing of another successful year. We congratulate the amazing work of three remarkable, outgoing MFT Trainees who made tremendous contributions to WOMAN Inc. They provided many hours of psychotherapy for survivors, facilitated peer support groups, ran our Children’s Program, provided crisis counseling, and worked tirelessly in all aspects of the agency. With that, we bid farewell with a big THANKS to Sierra Lindborg who will be leaving in August, and to Taina Aceves and Itzel Lopez who will be leaving at the end of April. We wish them the best of luck!
Our gratitude is also extended to two amazing MFT Interns who will be continuing with WOMAN Inc next year! WOMAN Inc relies heavily on their dedication and talent. So, a heart-felt THANK YOU to Susan Pearman and Elsa Paris. We’re so lucky to have each of you as part of the team.
Board Highlight--Bronwyn Martorana
How long have been with the WOMAN Inc Board?
It will be 2 years in May.
As a Board Member, what are some of your responsibilities?
The Board of Directors is primarily responsible for supporting the executive director and staff, ensuring effective strategic planning, strengthening programs and services, and ensuring adequate financial resources. To that end, my responsibilities as a board member include actively participating in all meetings and planning sessions, supporting the staff, and promoting WOMAN Inc's mission and services throughout our community.
How did you come to be involved with WOMAN Inc?
WOMAN Inc's ability to reach and effectively serve more and more survivors in our communities.
What do you enjoy the most about WOMAN Inc?
The extraordinary survivors, staff, and Board members with whom I get to interact. I have never met a more passionate, dedicated, and inspiring group of people. I continue to be amazed by them on a regular basis.
Volunteer Spotlight--Sarah Campbell and Gina Li
Sarah Campbell (right)
Sarah Campbell joined the WOMAN Inc community back in May 2011, initially looking to apply her theater background and passion for anti-violence work to performing outreach and community education. After a while, Sarah moved into supporting survivors on our 24-hour crisis line and during our drop-in support hours. Sarah has helped out during our children’s groups, and provided reliable and quality support on the crisis line as an after-hours advocate. She has such a warm, empowering, and authentic approach to supporting people and is now, sadly, leaving us for graduate school. We hate to see you go, but we are so excited for you to continue growing in your social work career. Best of luck and SO much appreciation! To learn more about Sarah, check out her Volunteer Spotlight
on our WOMAN Inc Blog.
Gina Li (left)
Gina Li joined our community of volunteers in December 2011. Since then, she has been involved in so many of WOMAN Inc’s efforts to support survivors of domestic violence! Gina has assisted with administrative projects and has been a representative at countless community events, and besides that, she regularly takes early morning shifts on the crisis line. Most recently, she has put a ton of energy into our grassroots fundraising efforts by throwing her own karaoke fundraiser party, and is helping to head up our volunteer events committee. We are constantly impressed by Gina’s sense of commitment, quality of work, and skills as a leader and team member. We’re so grateful she’s here! To read more about Gina, check out her Volunteer Spotlight
on our WOMAN Inc Blog.
Third Annual Community & Resources Fair
On, Saturday, April 6th, the WOMAN Inc Outreach Team tabled at the J. Denman Middle School Community Resource Fair. Along with passing out information about WOMAN Inc, we answered questions about all of the work our agency provides and how everyone can get involved in the cause. Added bonus? We were able to connect with other community resource providers in the hopes of setting up future partnerships and sharing information.
SFSU Vagina Monologues
WOMAN Inc volunteers were happy to table at two performances of the Vagina Monologues at San Francisco State University during the first week of April. Before and after the show, these volunteers distributed information about the services that WOMAN Inc provides to survivors as well as recruited new volunteers who were inspired by the show. Sitting alongside SF State organizations such as A S.A.F.E place, EROS and P.E.A.C.H.es, WOMAN Inc volunteers joined in the San Francisco State University community's efforts to end violence against women!
SFWAR Annual Walk Against Rape
Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Women's Building, 3543 18th Street (between Guerrero and Valencia), San Francisco
Details: SFWAR’s 8th Annual Walk Against Rape will be held on April 27th this year and will once again raise awareness about the need to end sexual violence in our community. The walk will start at The Women’s Building and will make its way through various parts of the Mission District. This walk is also a chance for participants to raise funds for SFWAR.WOMAN Inc is excited to be participating in this event for its April Moving to End Domestic Violence campaign. For more details about the walk and to register with the WOMAN Inc team, visit: http://www.sfwar.org/walk/index.html
The Vagina Monologues--A Performance to Support WOMAN Inc
Date: April 26-27
Time: 7 pm
Location: CEMEX Auditorium, Zambrano Hall, Stanford University. 641 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Stanford students present a performance benefiting WOMAN Inc. And what a performance it will be: the famous Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler! It is a series of monologues on topics including female sexuality, sexual and domestic violence, and girls' and women's empowerment. The play is meant to bring attention to violence against women and girls around the world.
Please visit this page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/621286624554362/
WOMAN Inc Clothing Swap
Date: April 28
Time: 11:30 am
Location: 145 Balboa Street, Apt #202, San Francisco 94118
Details: The Events Committee at WOMAN Inc invite you to a fun and social clothing swap to help raise money for the organization. Feel free to bring a friend and as many clothing items as you like and get ready to swap some styles with other attendees. $10 cover then swap til you drop!
*This event will be held at Chanel Garcia's place. She is a member of the WOMAN Inc. Event Committee and everyone is welcome!
Check this page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/632450423436197/
Strawberry Waffle Dash 5k Race
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Golden Gate Park, 14th Avenue Meadow
As part of WOMAN Inc’s Moving to End Domestic Violence campaign for May, we will be participating in LEAP’s 2nd Annual Fun Run, hosted by Picnic Dash Productions. LEAP is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide quality arts education programs that help students build skills to reach their fullest potential. Picnic Dash Productions, an organization that creates fun running events to benefit nonprofits, has chosen LEAP as this year’s recipient of the funds raised from the event. The short run will be held in Golden Gate Park and will end with delicious strawberry waffles! The cost is $20 before April 10, $25 before May 23 and $30 the day of the run. Register here: bit.ly/waffle5k
. Please email Development Director Troy Coalman, firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Take On Urban Adventure
Saturday, August 24, 2013
It’s time to get out and really explore your city! Get together with family and friends to compete in this high stakes urban adventure. You and 1-3 partners must solve clues that lead you through the city, where challenges await. Make sure you bring money and a camera because you never know what you may need to get you to your next challenge, or out of one. The team that completes the challenges first wins the top prize of $1,000! The second place team wins $300 and third place wins $200.
WOMAN Inc gets 10% of the proceeds of the event! More details about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/TakeOnYourCity/
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 email@example.com 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.