*February 2014*
Supporting Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

For many, February is associated as a month to celebrate the joys of love. A day though many are unaware of the origins, is a day to commemorate St. Valentine’s, a third century Roman saint who was said to perform weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Though many celebrate this day with heart-shaped candy and teddy bears that say I love you, unbeknownst to many others, there is a growing epidemic that showcases the dark side of love.
February, also known as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM), is a month dedicated to raising awareness of the alarming rates of violence occurring among the youth in our nation. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. Among female victims of domestic violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend (http://www.teendvmonth.org/). Dating abuse is a big problem affecting youth in every community. It can lead to less attention to academics, increased exposure to drugs and alcohol, a greater likelihood of teen pregnancy, growing isolation, sexual assault, and more. Even one of these things can have a profound impact on the physical, social and emotional growth of a young person. Together, they create a perfect storm that not only affects the teen survivor, but their friends, families, schools and surrounding communities. TDVAPM was created to be 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.
Click here to learn more about TDVAPM.
You can also support TDVAPM by donating to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. today!

Goodbye Amelie, our DVIRC Program Assistant!

For the past two years, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been lucky enough to call Amelie Booska a volunteer for our agency. Recently, she received an extraordinary opportunity to become a fellow for a microfinance nonprofit and though we are incredibly happy for her, this sadly means that our agency had to say goodbye to seeing her around the office on a regular basis.

Amelie joined our agency in April 2012 as a volunteer for the Domestic Violence Information & Referral Center Project (DVIRC). During her time as a volunteer, Amelie helped create a training video that fellow domestic violence service provider agencies can utilize to become familiar with the DVIRC, trained other volunteers and created a Volunteer Guide for other DVIRC system volunteers to access.  As the DVIRC expanded across the state of California, our agency needed additional help to ensure that our Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) was well-maintained and running smoothly for all domestic violence advocates who accessed the system. In April 2013, Amelie was brought onboard as the DVIRC Program Assistant. In this position she helped ensure that our network of agencies remained connected and updated on the progress of the DVIRC project by creating bi-monthly newsletters to all of our partner agencies. Amelie provided the very much needed technical support to our partner agencies. In addition to her work with the DVIRC, Amelie joined the social media volunteer committee and development committee to help outreach to the community about the services provided to survivors of domestic violence. Amelie was one of the most dedicated volunteers our agency has ever had and she will truly be missed. We wish her the best of luck with her new fellowship and reminder to not be a stranger to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.  Besides, as she knows no one really ever leaves W.O.M.A.N., Inc.




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Transamerica® Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™: Ways to Help Make it a Success

As mentioned in our last newsletter, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been chosen as an official charity for the Transamerica® Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™ on April 6th. We are extremely excited about this opportunity and want to do everything to make it a great way to raise funds for our clients and practice some self-care while we’re at it. If you are interested in supporting the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team, but don’t fancy yourself a runner/walker, we are looking for help in the following areas:

Outreach -- Recruit runners to participate and getting the word out about our team 

Organizing fundraisers - Help organize fundraisers or other events that can help runners raise money 

Raffle Items & T-shirts - Connect with businesses/sponsors to help our team out by donating gift cards for raffles. Maybe help with t-shirts for the team. We have materials that you can use to ask businesses/companies for donations. To receive a copy of these materials, please contact mariya@womaninc.org

Group Runs/Walks/Crossing Training - Organize group runs/walks and other cross training activities -- yoga, etc.

Sponsor a Runner - Sponsor a runner by donating $300 so participants who cannot afford to fundraise can also join the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team.

To donate, please click here

Art Exhibition by Finance and HR Manager, Blase Hents

Blase Hents, W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s Finance and HR Manager, would like to invite you to an exhibit of his paintings here in our Mission neighborhood.  Blase has been in service to W.O.M.A.N. Inc. with a history dating back over ten years.  He also paints under his Buddhist monastic name, losangmonlam.
You are invited to the exhibit at BeBeBar Juice + Sandwich Shop at 3809 18th Street, (at Church and  Dolores Park), San Francisco.
The exhibit will be up from Friday, February 21 through April 7, 2014.
A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 6 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  All are welcome.

For further information on losangmonlam (or Blase, as we know him), please visit www.losangmonlam.com or read about some of his other exhibits here

dancing with fire. bailando con fuego. ateşle dans.
acrylic. acrylico. acryliques.
42 in x 60 in.
losangmonlam. 2013.

Writing as Healing with Arisa White Follow-Up

On January 18th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. presented a terrific workshop at San Francisco Public Library. Titled Write to Heal, the workshop, a brainchild of Oakland-based poet Arisa White, focused on unleashing the participants’ writerly powers through getting them in touch with their bodies. The event started with breathing exercises, and progressed through generative writing exercises that locked the participants’ attention on different parts of their bodies and pulled a plethora of varying associations. In the second part of the workshop, everybody was asked to produce a piece of writing based on the generated textual material. We heard a lot of moving and passionate work, some of which might get published on Arisa’s official website.

Please read an enlightening interview with Arisa White here.  

Donor Highlight: Cole Hardware 

1) How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.? 
Our Cole Street assistant store manager Tessa Riley adopted two families a few years back for us to help out with the Adopt a Family Program. This was our third year.

2) What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc's anti-violence efforts? 
Cole Hardware has a very large community partner program, with over 600 schools and nonprofits as members. Year-round we help our partners with their fundraising efforts. Also, every year in December we host toy drives, food drives, and warm coat drives. Adopting a few families for the holiday gift program was a perfect fit for Cole Hardware. In addition, we were able to raise over $1000 in cash from our spare change program in December, too.
3) What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
We hope that we were able to make the holidays
a bit brighter for a few families in our communities.
Here’s Tessa with our founder Dave Karp. Tessa made these Golden Toolbox cakes
(4 of them!) celebrating Dave’s purchase of our flagship Cole Street location in 1961
4) Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
Our founder Dave Karp will turn 98 this year! We will be celebrating with a big event in June.

Japanese Delegation Meet with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

On February 12th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. met with Alderwomen Yumi Morimoto, Maria Arai, and Sachiko Inoue, a Japanese delegation of city council members who were interested in learning more about how domestic violence services operate in San Francisco. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff met with them for over an hour to discuss how W.O.M.A.N., Inc. operates San Francisco’s 24 Hour Support Line, Therapy Program, Latina Program, Support Groups, Connect.Unify.Evolve Program, DVIRC
, Volunteer Program and more. We also discussed our agency’s commitment to collaborate with our fellow domestic violence agencies in the Bay Area and our understanding that it takes all of us to bring an end to domestic violence. Our team was so pleased to meet with them and exchange ideas on how to help survivors of domestic violence.
C.U.E. Tips: Foods that Reduce Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety. We can experience fear, apprehension or worry, right before we publicly speak or when we’re running late to an appointment. Experiencing high levels of anxiety can affect the way we function and behave in our daily lives. To help W.O.M.A.N. Inc. members learn how to control their anxiety we have a list of foods from 
calmclinic.com that help reduce anxiety and foods to avoid that can contribute to anxiety. Try incorporating these foods into your daily diet, and see how it changes your anxiety.

Please visit our blog to read the full article.


Board Highlight: Allison Cristando

1) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
My husband does a lot of work through the Taproot Foundation that provides pro bono services to non-profit clients. Each time he selects a new project to be a part of, we discuss the organization and why he wants to be involved. When learning about W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we were both impressed by the level of service and commitment the organization provides to the community. I had the chance to meet the board and some of the staff at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and was inspired by their passion for their work. I have been involved in several woman's organizations on the business side and felt moved to give back in a way that would help benefit many more in the community. 

2) Can you tell us about your professional background? 
I have the privilege of working at Genentech, a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions.  My job at Genentech is to lead a team of trainers who train the organization on new therapeutic spaces in our pipeline.  What excites me about my work is I get to play a role in bringing new medications to patients that really need it.

3) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my work is strategic planning and thinking creatively about solving problems. I look forward to helping the board think about how we can continue to grow and support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.


One Billion Rising For Justice Follow-Up

On February 14th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff and volunteers gathered with activists, artists, anti-violence advocates, city leaders and groups representing diverse communities, in front San Francisco City Hall to participate in One Billion Rising For Justice, a global campaign taking place in over 170 countries, to end violence against women and girls. This year the campaign focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence and sexual assault. The event included many different speakers such as, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, District Attorney George Gascon, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, V-Day Executive Director Susan Celia Swan, Commission on the Status of Women President Nancy Kirschner-Rodriguesz, Filipina Women’s Network CEO Marily Mondejar and other city leaders and advocates. The event, focusing on protesting against gender violence and sexual assault by taking part in dance, included musical performances by apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas, Taiko Drummers from Ruth Asawa SF School of the Arts, hip hop group Oshaku, and of course hundreds of San Francisco Residents participating in the Break the Chain flash mob. 
If you missed the live event, watch One Billion Rising For Justice here.

Domestic Violence Consortium of San Francisco Discussion Panel: Every Survivor, Every Zip Code
On January 30th, the Domestic Violence Consortium of San Francisco (DVCSF) had their 3rd panel meeting in Visitation Valley as part of their campaign Every Survivor, Every Zip Code, in which they intend to reach out survivors in their own community. These meetings are open to the public and are meant to introduce the community to members of the DVCSF and discuss topics ranging from obtaining a restraining order to resources that exist for families in domestic violence crisis situations to avoiding prosecution for the abuser. Seven DVC members shared all of this information and more with agency representatives and Visitation Valley community members. Many of these members represented legal aid agencies, but there were also representatives from Cameron House and W.O.M.A.N., Inc who were able to speak to residential and non-residential services for survivors. It is the goal of the DVC to host these panel meetings in various neighborhoods in San Francisco, so there will be more to follow! 

Volunteer Highlight: Lisa Serrano
1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I first became involved with W.O.M.A.N. Inc. when I completed the 48 hour domestic violence advocate training this past summer.  I have been volunteering for the organization since August 2013.
2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I was inspired to do anti-violence work out of a desire to find a community that shared similar values to my own, particularly a feminist-oriented organization trying to put an end to injustice.  In my eyes, W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s mission coincides well with my personal values of focusing on equality, consent, and the freedom of each individual to make their own choices.  I feel that oppression is the main component of the unneeded violence in our society, and I appreciate W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s educating others on the critical link between the two. 
3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
I take calls on the crisis line and also provide peer counseling during drop in support hours at the office.
4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
My time at W.O.M.A.N. Inc. has greatly aided in my decision to become a Marriage and Family Therapist.  Being given the opportunity to see clients in person was a tremendous responsibility and has boosted my confidence in my peer counseling abilities.  I am grateful for the extensive training that I have received on domestic violence, as knowledge of these issues has spread to my other peer counseling roles and has made me a more well rounded listener and advocate.  Lastly, the survivors that I speak to through W.O.M.A.N. Inc. inspire me in their strength and resilience - they have taught me a new meaning for the word “survivor”.   I am proud to be a survivor advocate and look forward to being a part of the anti domestic violence community for years to come.
5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I feel that the best advice I can give to anyone in the community who works with survivors is to listen.  Truly listening to each survivor’s past and present is the key to helping them live a future without violence.  

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to Present at Powerful Partnerships Conference

Our agency recently learned that our proposal to speak on the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) project led by W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and utilized by thirty-four agencies throughout California, was accepted by the Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. On April 24-25th, staff members Jill Zawisza and Mariya Taher will head to Newark, Delaware to present at the “Powerful Partnerships: 20 Years of the Violence Against Women Act and the Path Ahead” Conference. The conference will highlight the power of partnerships in working to end gender violence and celebrate the collaborative work fostered by the Violence Against Women Act over the past 20 years while embracing creative approaches and exciting alliances. Toward this end, the conference will create a unique space for survivors, community activists, advocates, researchers, business leaders, and government officials from across the nation to come together to share research findings, best practices, and lessons learned and to foster trust, resilient relationships, and innovative strategies for addressing gender-based violence as we look forward to the future. This is a wonderful opportunity for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to showcase the successes of the DVIRC and how the system has built a stronger, more coordinated network of domestic violence service providers across the state of California.

To learn more about the conference, click here.

Women’s Policy Institute: Update from Mariya

As some of you might already know, I am a Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) fellow for the 2013-2014 legislative year.  The Women’s Policy Institute is a yearlong program of intensive advocacy and leadership training retreats in Sacramento that teaches women activists and grassroots organizations how to successfully navigate the labyrinth of Sacramento. I’m excited to announce that my team, the Domestic Violence Team, has been working with Assemblymember Mark Stone’s office to raise support for AB 1579 – Healthy Babies Act of 2014. This bill aims to change the state’s CalWORKs statute to allow pregnant women who otherwise do not have children to become eligible for CalWORKs basic needs grants as soon as they are able to verify that they’re pregnant. Currently, low-income pregnant women are eligible for CalWORKs assistance only in the last three months of their pregnancy.
For many of the women our agency works with, financial dependence often forces survivors to remain in abusive relationships (between January 2012 and December 2013, close to 1300 of our clients reported financial abuse and dependence), and during pregnancy that financial dependence increases. In the past two years, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has received over 1000 calls on our crisis line from survivors who have reported financial abuse. Additionally, the National Survey of DV Shelters indicated that over 74% of women stayed with an abusive partner longer because of financial concerns. In some cases, abusers intentionally impregnate their partners to exploit this financial control and assert their power.  Additionally, pregnant women with inadequate financial support are less able to afford healthy diets, preventing them from getting the nutrients necessary for proper fetal development. Often domestic violence begins or escalates in severity during pregnancy.*  The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) reports that domestic violence is more common than any other health problem among women during pregnancy. This bill is important because earlier participation in CalWORKs could help survivors access domestic violence social services, avoid stress, premature births and even mother and infant mortality.
Click here to learn more about WPI and what other pieces of legislation the fellows are working on.
~ Mariya, Community Liaison Manager
*Bohn, D.K., “Domestic Violence and Pregnancy. Implication for Practice.” Journal of Nurse Midwifery 1990 Mar-Apr; 35(2):86-98.
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An Evaluation of Payday Plus SF

Payday lending, which many policymakers consider predatory and irresponsible given extraordinarily high interest rates, have nevertheless grown rapidly in recent decades. To help lower-income residents break free from payday loans, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment partnered with  San Francisco credit unions to pilot Payday Plus SF: a short term loan designed to carry borrowers through financial emergencies without causing a new one. Payday Plus SF loans offer fair interest rates and realistic repayment terms. Clients can borrow up to $500 and repay it over 6 to 12 months at a maximum APR of 18%, even if they have low or no credit scores.
To understand the impact of the loan, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment partnered with Stanford University and Community Financial Resources to evaluate the Payday Plus SF program. The Stanford Evaluation uses mixed-method data from a survey of 123 borrowers and in-depth qualitative interviews with 30 borrowers of loans offered through Payday Plus SF. To download the full report and findings click here.
Financial Education Workshop Calendar

Does your organization host financial education workshops, events or fairs?  Share your upcoming financial education workshop on the Smart Money Network Calendar.  We update our calendars every month with the latest financial education workshops and events in San Francisco. List your upcoming event on the calendar by e-mailing sf.ofe@sfgov.org with the name of your event, date, location and sign up information, as well as a brief 1-2 sentence description. 



Transamerica® Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™ 

When: April 6th, 2014
Where: San Francisco
Details: W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been chosen as an official for the San Francisco Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and would love for you to join our team! Walkers and runners are both welcome. Contact mariya@womaninc.org for more information.

Transamerica® Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™ Group Runs

When: March 16th at 11:00am 
Where: 898 John F Kennedy Dr, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Details: To prepare for the race, we will be hosting a number of group runs. Please join us, regardless of whether or not you plan to attend the race. For more information, please contact mariya@womaninc.org.

Transamerica® Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™ Group Runs Hosted by Lululemon

When: Every Thursday evening at 6:15pm
Where: 327 Grant Ave, SF, CA, 94108
Details: On Feb 27 & March 27th, the run will be accompanied by a yoga session afterwards for all participants at Maiden Lane Studios. Please meet at Maiden Lane Studios after the run/walk: 80 Maiden Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108. This even is open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you plan to attend the race. For more information, please contact mariya@womaninc.org.

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
  • Used cell phones with batteries (no chargers, please!)
  • 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
  • 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.