Participate in W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Adopt-A-Family Program!

As the holidays approach, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is looking for very special donors in the community to participate in its annual Adopt-A-Family program! When holiday shopping, there is something special about picking out that gift that you think will be just right for a loved one, and thinking of the smile that will appear on their face as they open their gift. W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Adopt-A-Family program asks you to donate a gift card to provide a domestic violence survivor with not only an item, but the experience of picking out their own presents for their children, which provides a sense of pride and responsibility.

Survivors who have experienced domestic violence and are benefiting from W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s services have often recently left an abusive relationship and face financial difficulty in buying presents for their families. While gifts are wonderful, the experience of gift giving also brings joy. You can help to make this season brighter by giving survivors the opportunity to participate in the holiday shopping process through this program.

It’s easy to donate! You can purchase a gift card here which W.O.M.A.N., Inc. staff will hand deliver to survivors who participate in W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s programs including the Therapy and Latina programs. Plus all donations are tax deductible.

If you would like to mail in a gift card to support one of our families, please send to:

Attn: “Adopt A Family Program”
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
333 Valencia St, Suite 450
San Francisco, CA 94103

Thank you for making the holidays brighter for survivors!


Jill Zawisza
Executive Director

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Is Your Old iPhone Ready For Pick Up? Donate to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and Help Survivors!

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Flyer - Shelter Alliance Cell Phone Collection(1)-page-001W.O.M.A.N., Inc. connects with many domestic violence survivors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. These survivors are hard working, smart and beautiful individuals who are seeking support with their healing process. Our agency’s mission is to help them survive and thrive and we need your contribution to accomplish this task!

If you, your co-workers, family or friends have old iPhones or other smart phones to donate, please consider donating them to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Our agency works in conjunction with Shelter Alliance, a national leader in cell phone buyback & recycling. By donating your old cell phones to W.O.M.A.N., Inc., you are helping our agency raise vital funding to support survivors of domestic violence. Shelter Alliance provides our agency with $300 for each donated smartphone. Plus, every cell phone given to us is processed through a responsible zero landfill system. Shelter Alliance has helped dozens of nonprofits, schools, and organizations nationwide raise over $10 million to fund their programs.

We are reaching out to individuals and local businesses to collect unused cell phones and smartphones of all types: iPhones, Samsung Galaxy, and more. If you or your organization is interested in participating in a cell-phone drive to benefit W.O.M.A.N. Inc., please contact our Peer Services Manager, Mary Martinez for more details:

Mary Martinez
W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
333 Valencia St, Suite 450
(415) 864-4777 ext. 310 or

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Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Newson

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I’d heard about W.O.M.A.N., Inc. years ago, and maybe even referred people here, but didn’t get involved until April of 2014.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I grew up in a household with domestic violence, and know how deeply it affects
families long after the event(s). As an adult, I wanted to be part of the
solution, to be someone who could offer unconditional, non-judgmental support
to those still going through it.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
I have been involved with the Events Committee – it was my way of trying to build my fundraising skills while I was in-between jobs. So far, we’ve organized a Community Dog Walk to support the Pet Fund, benefited from a comedy night at El Rio, and are putting together a Pet Calendar to highlight the link between domestic violence and pet safety, and our love for our pets.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
It has put me in touch with some incredible people I would not have met otherwise, and introduced me to the wide network of people committed to anti-violence work here in the area.DSC_4286

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.?

New volunteers: you already possess a legion of skills that you came by naturally, or through past work. Take time to assess those skills, and use them for the good of WOMAN, Inc.
Interested in supporting: This is tough and delicate work, to support some of the most vulnerable populations during the riskiest and most vulnerable time in their lives. If you could help even one person make the move towards a safer, healthier environment, wouldn’t you do it?

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Community Building For Spanish Speaking Communities – Si Se Puede!

On October 11th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was invited to take part of the annual Si Se Puede  (Yes, we can) event at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.  Si Se Puede is held each year in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month to honor survivors. The event was a free event held in Spanish to educate members of the community around domestic violence, immigration laws, mental health and inform others around what  they can do regarding language barriers.

Members of the community were encouraged to ask questions and were given the opportunity to share what was on their mind. Questions were asked around the procedures of getting a VAWA ( Violence Against Women Act) and a U-Visa.  Many attendees asked about the time frame and things they can do while waiting for their visas. Many attendees took the opportunity to find answers to their questions as well as clarifying the false information they may have heard from others.  The presenters included members for Catholic Charities, MUA (Mujeres Unidas y Activas), Homeless Prenatal Program, and Carolis.

One informative workshop included overcoming language barriers held by Ana from Carolis.  Members of the community were informed about the right to have services in their language and the right to ask for an interpreter.  Many of the attendees shared how language has been one of their biggest barriers in accessing community services because they do not understand the information that is given to them or know where to get information in their native language and therefore might endure their suffering as a result.  With knowing their rights, these attendees now feel comfortable asking for interpreters or asking for information to be given to them in their native language.

Another informative workshop that was held was the effects of domestic violence on children given by San Francisco Organizing project.  This workshop gave attendees guidelines on how to talk to their children, and how to interact with their children around domestic violence in their home.

After the workshops many of the attendees  came to the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. table to introduce themselves and ask what resources W.O.M.A.N., Inc. provided.  We were happy to tell them about our Latina Program which works with monolingual survivors by supporting them in any way we can, such as providing case management, therapy and support groups as well as our 24 hour support line.   Many attendees left thankful for the services W.O.M.A.N., Inc. provides and were happy to share the information with their community, as well as family and friends who might need domestic violence services.

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Echando Pa’lante Survivor Empowerment Group – Together, we flourish!

By Stephanie Colorado, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latina Program Support Assistant

During the month of October, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s survivor empowerment group, Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward) worked once per week on a piece of art to donate to the Surviving and Thriving Event.  The ladies were very happy to come to extra meetings an1001d stay well after the meeting time, in order to create a work of art that was inspiring for them.  Our MFT Intern, Daniel, co-facilitated the art group to help the ladies see what their inner strengths and inspirations were. The ladies engaged in retelling their story of surviving an abusive relationship and how they all now feel very supported and grounded in the present lives. One of the ladies shared that being a part of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was one of the biggest support system she had come across. She felt grateful to have our agency’s support.


Latina Program Manager, Paola Souto, getting her feet into the art action.

 After some discussion, the ladies began brainstorming their vision for their artwork.  What they had in mind included showing people their pathway to recovery.  When they heard the word pathway, footprints came to mind.  Without hesitation the woman took off their shoes and started creating a pathway of footprints in different colors and designs. The room was filled with laughter and joy as each woman literally left their footprint in the work of art.  They added the phrase “Dar Un Paso Con Responsabilidad” meaning “Give a step with responsibility.”  Another phrase that was added to the artwork included “Los Pasos que damos deven de ser con seguridad” meaning the “Steps we take must be taken with security” as well as “Adelante de cada paso vamas a encontrar una luz” meaning “Ahead of each step you will find a light.” These inspirational quotes came from the women themselves which they wished to share with others through their art.


MFT Intern, Daniel, helping Echando Pa’lante member in creating a sun out of handprints.

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Echando Pa’lante artwork being displayed at Surviving & Thriving.

The women were then inspired to have the footprints lead to something positive.  They came to the conclusion that a bright sun would be appropriate since they their dark path are behind them. They created the sun out of their own handprints, making a circle signifying their relationship with each other and their support for one another.  In the middle of the sun they wrote the phrase “Echando Pa’ Lante” which translates to “Moving Forward,” the name of their support group.

The art was collected and showcased at Surviving and Thriving, an fundraising event that took place on Friday, October 3rd to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and the San Francisco Women Against Rape.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Bridget Daly

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I started at WOMAN Inc at the end of February, 2014.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?

I had been looking for a way to contribute to the community of women in the Bay Area. I also wanted to learn more about working with a feminist non-profit . When a friend of mine told me she was working the crisis line, I wanted to know more. I read the stories of survivors, volunteers and staff on the WOMAN Inc blog, Facebook page, etc. and knew that I could help and be helped in the process. Bridget - Volunteer Highlight

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

I have worked mostly on the Domestic Violence Information Referral Center (DIVRC). I help update the calendar with upcoming events, add new services for survivors, and organize new resources in the DVIRC library. In addition to working on the DVIRC, I have helped put out the DIVRC newsletter and organize the generous donations sent to WOMAN Inc from the community.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?

WOMAN Inc has given me the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than myself during a time in my life when I felt powerless to effect change. As I learned how to help around the office, I realized that the contributions I was making to WOMAN Inc were helping me in the process. Meeting new people, developing marketable skills and learning from survivors and advocates greatly increased my confidence and sense of self worth.

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.?

When you surround yourself with empowered, endearing, determined women (like those found at WOMAN Inc), you will begin to find these qualities in yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support.

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Join W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s 2015 San Francisco Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon Team!

“I am participating in this marathon because I believe that every person should have the opportunity to discover who they are, love themselves fully and be loved truly, and adventurously explore their world. Domestic violence steals this opportunity from too many people. It has no place in our community!”

~ Kabria Pervoe

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is dedicated to empowering domestic violence survivors to create lives free of violence, and every day the staff and volunteers work hard to ensure that members of our community have the support they need when facing a domestic violence situation. From providing direct services to raising funds, those dedicated to ending domestic violence support the agency in many different ways.Marathon

Back in 2012, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Community Liaison Manager, Mariya Taher, accomplished an incredible feat of running six half-marathons within a mere six months in order to raise much-needed funds for the agency. This past April, fourteen individuals took Maryia’s lead in joining forces to run the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. became an official charity for the event for the very first time. With the support from friends, family, and community supporters, the team was able to raise over $10,000 to support domestic violence survivors!

“I am grateful to join W.O.M.A.N. Inc’s efforts and give survivors of domestic abuse a voice.”

~ Kristen Walsh

Running or walking 13.1 miles in one haul requires not only physical stamina, but emotional stamina as well…something that rings true for those in domestic violence situations. Rising above difficult circumstances is a struggle that all human beings can relate to. In the case of domestic violence, survivors must overcome a vast array of tumultuous obstacles, as they navigate the tenuous grounds of their abusive relationships. So often, survivors are made to feel inferior and weak not only by their abuser, but also, unfortunately, even if subconsciously, by their friends and family around them. Reality is—survivors of domestic violence are immensely strong, exhibiting great courage and creativity to keep themselves and their children safe and alive.

Event Pic“I run because I enjoy keeping physically and mentally fit, I joined the fight against domestic violence because someone near and dear to my heart is a survivor. If not for her resilience in knowing that no one deserves to be a victim and her strong stance to be respected. Had she not felt empowered to get the proper help of the authorities she too may have fallen victim of the perpetrators own selfishness when he took his own life.”

~ Jacob LaStant

Using their strength as inspiration and as an example, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is once again gathering supporters, from staff to volunteers to friends, to join our team this year in the Transamerica ® Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™ on Sunday, March 29, 2015! There are many different ways to support–from running with our team, to hosting events and sponsoring a runner, or even coaching a runner. These are just a few ideas on how you can be a part of our team!

All funds raised will contribute to critical services for survivors of domestic violence! To check out the race course, check out the official race course video.

For more information or to join the team, please contact Travis Marsh at

“I am so excited to run the Rock ‘N’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon 2014 as a proud member of the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Team!  It is an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to this amazing organization, and to know that my involvement can have a positive impact on the lives of others.” ~ Kelly Rossi

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