Miriam’s Story of Survival

TRIGGER WARNING: physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse

Miriam came to the United States from her home country of Mexico to live the “American Dream” but that dream soon became a nightmare. Miriam met her now ex-husband here in the U.S. and started dating for a couple of years and then got married. She thought that she would spend the rest of her life with him. But the same man that said “I love you” soon became abusive. cover_42_en_USShe suffered a lot of economical, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse at the hands of him. He knew how to manipulate her and knew when to treat her “well”. When it came time to pay the bills he would turn into the loving man she once knew and loved so much. When he was not manipulating her for money, he was trying to manipulate her for sex. He would tell her that he could easily go out and pay a prostitute $50 for sex. She could not believe what she was hearing. The abuse that Miriam experienced was taking everything out of her. Miriam recalls “Everything I was… I was shrinking and shrinking.” She got to weigh 92 pounds because of all the depression she was dealing with. She had no one to support her and his family was covering up for his abusive ways. Towards the end of their relationship, he started abusing drugs and alcohol. Miriam had enough. She knew that she had to get out of there, for herself and her two boys.

When she finally left her husband, she made it seem like she was going to work. She packed all the necessary items (clothing, documents, some photos, and of course the boys’ fish) into a backpack and left. She picked up her eldest son first and then the youngest. They all made the trip from Hayward to San Francisco. They arrived at The Rosalie House, an emergency shelter, and were finally free from the abuse. At The Rosalie House, she was able to participate in support groups and interact with other women who also had gone through Domestic Violence. She remembers laughing and having a good time in these groups. The Rosalie House referred Miriam to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

She came to W.O.M.A.N.; Inc. to receive counseling services. Miriam found it very hard to talk about what had happened to her, so she would talk about other things. She would talk about work, school, and every day problems. Even though it was hard for her to talk about the Domestic Violence she liked coming to therapy but soon had to stop coming because she had to focus on the boys, work, and school. After a year, while applying for a U-Visa, she came back to W.O.M.A.N.; Inc. to receive some advocacy around translating some documents she needed in order to apply for the Visa. During that time she worked with Lupe, a former case manager for our Latina Program, for the translations and also started therapy with Elsa, an MFT Intern for our Therapy Program. Miriam once again found herself struggling to talk about the abuse she had gone through but she knew that she had to start talking about it to start healing herself. She recalls “Then the right moment came and I really started to talk it out and work with everything that was hurting me.” After every session she would feel emotionally exhausted but she knew that it was necessary. And little by little she saw a change in herself.

Today, Miriam no longer is in an abusive relationship. She is happy. She goes to school, plays with her boys (sometimes cheating a little at the games), goes to work, and smiles! She worries about paying the bills, getting the boys to school on time, and her school work. She is also proud of her two boys, who are doing very well in school. She has achieved a lot because she has not given up!
“I dedicated myself to survive…”

Miriam is a SURVIVOR.

Please consider donating to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. so that we can continue to provide essential services to survivors like Miriam. We rely on and appreciate your support.

Posted in Survivor Story | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.U.E. Tip: Natural Remedies for Illness

CUE teddyIt is important for members of the W.O.M.A.N. Inc. community to protect their health especially when dealing with large amounts of emotional or physical stress. Feeling depression, anxiety, or loneliness can significantly lower our immune systems, making us vulnerable to getting sick.  When we do get sick it is important for us to give our bodies the rest and nurture it deserves. WellnessMama.com is an excellent blog that promotes healthy foods and lifestyles.

Medication can be expensive, so we need to find ways that can help us get better and are cost effective.  Here are 3 natural remedies from Wellnessmama.com, we can make, using supplies we have at home, to help is take care of ourselves and our loved ones.

  1.  Garlic (recipe from Wellnessmama.com)

CUE garlic

Garlic is perfect for fighting off any illness as it is a strong antibiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal. For the most potent effect, finely mince 1-2 cloves or garlic and float in a small glass of water. Drink quickly- if you are sick enough, you won’t even notice the taste. Note: Pregnant women should not take more than 1 clove of garlic medicinally per day, and children often resist this remedy.

  1. Face Steam (from Wellnessmama.com)

CUE steam face

In a pinch, this can be made with kitchen herbs. Boil 1-2 cups of water in a large pot. Remove from heat, add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, rosemary and oregano. Cover for 5 minutes with a lid, and then remove lid and put face directly over pot with towel covering your head to hold in the heat. Breathe in the steam as long as you can, aim for 15 minutes. This will help loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs, bronchials or sinuses. Alternately, you can use 1/2 cup vinegar in the steam. It won’t smell great, but it will help fight the illness.

3.  Hydrogen Peroxide (from Wellnessmama.com)

CUE hydrogen peroxide

At the first sign of cold, flu, sinus infection, or ear infection, put a dropperful of hydrogen peroxide into each ear. Have the person lie still with the hydrogen peroxide in the ear until it stops bubbling. Do this on both sides. This is especially effective for kids. Repeat every few hours until infection is gone.

For more natural remedies from WellnessMama.com you can go here.

 

By Social Media Intern, Janella Parucha

Posted in C.U.E. | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Losangmonlam to Donate 10% of Proceeds to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.

Spirit flight. uelo del espiritu - blase
Losangmonlam would like to invite you to his exhibition of new work, currently on display at BeBeBar Juice and Sandwich shop here in our mission neighborhood.

Losangmonlam has kindly offered to donate 10% of all sales during the exhibit to W.O.M.A.N. Inc.  So please stop by; even if just to appreciate the color on the walls.

Losangmonlam, Blase (as we know him) has been in service to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. handling our finance, HR and admin functions.

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 through April 2014.

For further information on Losangmonlam (or Blase as we know him), please visitwww.losangmonlam.com

spirit flight. vuelo del espíritu.
acrylic. acrylico. acryliques.
24 in x 30 in.

Posted in Announcements | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Participates in “Safety Awareness” Week at UC Hastings

UC Hastings - Outreach Presentation

On February 28th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was invited to participate in “Safety Awareness” Week at UC Hastings.  Annie Fisher, Outreach Volunteer for our agency, provided training for students and staff on Domestic Violence Awareness and Safety Planning with support from Chief William Palamini Jr. and Lt. Scott Hallahan.  We want to thank UC Hastings for the opportunity and venue to provide information about domestic violence and to share more information about W.O.M.A.N., Inc. programming and how we work towards ending violence in our communities.

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

C.U.E. Tip: Free Zumba!

zumba pic

“Zumba in the Parks” and it is free with an RSVP.   They have different park locations for you to choose from so you can get a good work out and experience San Francisco’s many different parks. This is another fun and healthy way to get together with coworkers and friends. If you like to dance, or want to get a great cardio work out, this is perfect for you.

Spread the word on these wonderful benefits, then grab a group of friends and Zumba!

Check out the website and don’t forget to make a reservation.

Posted in C.U.E. | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Moody’s Hosts Fundraiser for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Transamerica® Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™

Moody's Fundraiser - Annie - 3.5.14

The good folks at Moody’s in the Financial District recently held a fundraiser for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco team in conjunction with International Women’s Day.  Our agency’s Outreach Team was asked to provide a brief presentation with information about the services we provide for survivors of domestic violence as well as the successes that our clients have had in moving towards lives free of violence.  While attendees listened and snacked on Mardi Gras- themed food, they heard stories about how a group of volunteers consisting of survivors, volunteers, and community folks have come together to participate in the W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco team in order to raise awareness of domestic violence and fundraise for the agency. Attendees were touched and donated generously to the cause. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. would like to give a big thanks to Mahima Sukhramani for thinking about our agency and for attendees in providing such needed support towards the services for survivors of domestic violence.

Posted in Donors, Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Board Match Event

Board Match article
W.O.M.A.N. Inc. is an organization that seeks to continuously improve our work, get stronger as an organization, and achieve greater impact in our community. As such, one of our 2014 priorities is to build the capacity and diversity of the Board of Directors so that this team of committed volunteers has the time, energy, capabilities, and skills needed to propel W.O.M.A.N., Inc. into our next chapter.
This year, we attended a board development event called The Board Match. It was organized by the Volunteer Center, and presented an organized forum for local nonprofits to connect with potential board members (about 1000 board candidates attend each year). W.O.M.A.N., Inc. sent Jill (ED), Mariya (Community Liaison Manager), and Lija (Board President) to the event to represent the organization and connect with potential board members. It was a great success – many impressive, passionate board candidates came to our table and expressed interest in serving and supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc. We walked away with a full list of names and contact information, and are excited to follow-up with the incredible individuals we met at the event. We hope that among our list there are 3-4 high-quality board candidates excited to join us over the course of this year!
Posted in Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment