W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Fundraiser at Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli


Join us for another great event that supports W.O.M.A.N., Inc.!

Erin Michelson, Author and Adventure Philanthropist, will be at Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli on Friday, August 15th at 6pm. She will be doing a book reading from her book titled  Adventure Philanthropist and will lead a discussion about global volunteering. A percentage of the book sales will go to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and a portion of the sales at the deli that evening will also go to our organization.


Kawika’s Ocean Beach Deli

734 La Playa @ Balboa (just down the hill from the Cliff House in Ocean Beach in the Outer Richmond)

Erin Michelson

Adventure Philanthropist: Great Adventures Volunteering Abroad


“The New Philanthropist” by National Geographic Magazine

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5th Annual Surviving & Thriving Gala Fundraiser and Celebration Friday Oct. 3rd!

Surviving and Thriving 5th year Anniversary

Think of all the women you know that have inspired, supported, and empowered you.  These are the women that we’re celebrating during this incredible Gala and fundraiser, and we can’t wait to see you out there.  This year is certainly going to be a special one.  Not only is it the 5th year anniversary, but we’re moving to an exciting new location.

When:  Friday, October 3rd, 2014, 6:00-10:00 pm
Where: Lot 21 Studio & Gallery, 930 20th Street, San Francisco

Raise your glass, get your groove on and give back in honor of the Phenomenal women in our lives and in celebration of the courageous women who survive and thrive among us! This will be an inspired, unforgettable evening of art, music, light hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.

Since 2010, Surviving & Thriving has been building a compassionate community of women and men in honor and celebration of survivor courage​. Through personally inscribed works donated by the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou and a silent art auction highlighting local artists.  We’re honored to be included alongside SFWAR to be the beneficiary of the proceeds from this event.

Musical set provided by DJ LMcG! 

Buy tickets or make a donation! 

$30 Pre Sale Online* || $40 At The Door*. Cash Bar. 

*Includes One Complimentary Drink Ticket

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W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Mariya Taher talks Healthy Babies Act in San Francisco’s Examiner

In her guest column for the San Francisco Examiner, W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Community Liaison Manager, Mariya Taher, replies to this horrible Washington Post Op Ed to debunk the myth that getting married protects women from domestic violence, and talks about the danger many women find themselves in after their marriages begin, and the abuse that oftentimes begins or escalates with pregnancy.

Many pregnant women in abusive relationships cannot leave their abuser because they are financially dependent upon them–which is why Mariya, along with the Women’s Policy Institute, has been working to pass AB 1579, The Healthy Babies Act of 2014, which will allow countless women to obtain CalWORKs benefits, the state welfare program for needy families, at the second trimester of their first pregnancy.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is so proud to be a sponsor of AB 1579 – The Healthy Babies Act of 2014! And we’re very proud of the Domestic Violence Team – part of the The Women’s Foundation of California‘s Women’s Policy Institute on their hard working to get this bill passed!

Good job Maria Caprio of Shanti Project, Melodie Kruspodin of Peace Over Violence, Nicole Marquez of Worksafe, Julia Parish of Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, and Mariya Taher of W.O.M.A.N., Inc.!

Read Mariya’s full column here.

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Vida Plena para Tod@s

Paola at conference in chicago

Vida Plena para Tod@s, or A Full Life for Everybody, was the name of this year’s National Latin@ Institute where our Latina Program Manager, Paola Souto, facilitated a workshop at the beginning of June in Chicago, IL.

This conference, organized by the National Latin@ Network every two years, welcomed over 150 people working in the anti-domestic violence field from across the nation: from advocates, volunteers, and immigration lawyers offering direct service, to therapists, policy experts, board members, and survivors, they all came together to discuss best practices and how to end gender-based and domestic violence in the Latin@ communities.

For three days, they discussed challenging issues and innovative practices, exchanged advocacy tools, ideas for community engagement culturally specific to the Latin@ communities, and shared resources and expertise on different topics. The Institute aimed to bring light to the intersections of gender-based violence and domestic violence in the Latin@ communities in a collaborative environment, acknowledging the vast diversity in these communities. Some of the topics of the Institute sessions included advocating for survivors who stay in contact with abusive partners, advocating for LGBTQ Latin@ Survivors, working with Latin@ youth, elder abuse, human trafficking, using culture and art as healing tools, and engaging men to end violence against women.

Presenters and panelists were intentional in their choice of words, using inclusive vocabulary (considering gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, etc.) and switching back and forth between English and Spanish depending on what they felt more comfortable with and what they thought was more appropriate to the discussion. Interpreters kept busy supporting monolingual participants with English and Spanish translations. In this way, language was used to bring visibility to the diversity in our Latin@ communities.

Paola’s Echando Pa’lante presentation included its origins and the agency motivation behind its creation, how it has developed over the years, the members’ feedback and how their participation has evolved, and the challenges the Latina Program has encountered with the group. It was an interactive presentation, as many of the advocates in the audience had experience with survivor empowerment groups at their own agencies. Following the spirit of the Institute, Paola established a critical dialogue among the people in the workshop and hopefully everybody left with new ideas and practical tools, and inspired to move their programs and groups forward.

Una vida plena para tod@s. What else can we ask for than a full life for everybody? After attending this Institute, Paola came back with a renewed commitment to promoting social justice for all communities of survivors, aiming for una vida plena para tod@s.



In the Spanish language most nouns are assigned a gender – masculine or feminine. The word Latino is the masculine noun and is often used to refer to men; the word Latina is the feminine noun and always used to refer to women. Spanish nouns that are plural are almost always assigned the male gender. So even though the word Latinos may refer to both Latinas and Latinos, this is a sexist approach. The @ in Latin@ is then used as an alternative to reject the gendering of the word and attempt gender neutrality.

In addition, there are people who don’t identify with either male or female nouns. The term Latin@, and the usage of @ in many nouns that refer to their identities, is a way of using inclusive language as an alternative to the traditional and outdated gender binary.

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Dance Out Diabetes

danceoutWe cannot emphasis enough the health benefits of dancing. Dancing is an excellent form of exercise because it not only burns calories and builds muscles, but it also contributes to our overall health.  Dancing is great, and if you’re not dancing yet, now may be the perfect time to start.

Dance Out Diabetes is a dancing event in San Francisco whose mission is to prevent and manage diabetes through dance, education, support and increased access to care. Dance Out Diabetes is a fun dance community made up of all ages, abilities, people with and without diabetes, friends, families, volunteers, and certified diabetes educators. Regular dance programs include ongoing health screenings, a 45-minute dance lesson, and different genres of music. Participants have an opportunity to socialize with peers facing similar challenges in a relaxed and informal setting.

The next upcoming event is August 9th, 2014, at The African American Art & Culture Complex at 762 Fulton Street, SF, CA 94102.

For more information please click here.

Janella Parucha, Social Media Volunteer 


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Break the Cycle of Violence & Support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. This Summer


At W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we strive not only to empower domestic violence survivors but also to break the cycle of violence that occurs from generation to generation.

During the past month of June, people all over the world celebrated Children’s Day. This day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the issues that affect our children and youth, and domestic violence is one of the biggest causes of harm to children worldwide. According to Futures Without Violence’s “Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence” fact sheet, about 19.4 million children in the U.S. may be exposed to family violence in their lifetimes. The emotional and psychological trauma of witnessing violence is similar to that of direct abuse. This summer, we kindly ask you to support the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. services that work towards supporting families affected by domestic violence.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Children’s Group offers support to children of survivors while their survivor parent is simultaneously attending W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Peer Support Groups. The children are provided with a safe and supportive environment where they can process their own experiences around violence and practice healthy and respectful relationships with other children. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. works with these children in a non-judgmental manner while also seeking to foster high self-esteem in youngsters who haven’t had many chances to develop this quality in their lives. By holding the Children’s Group concurrently with the Peer Support Groups, we also make access to our services more convenient to survivors.

During our Children’s Group, Marriage Family Therapy Interns and volunteers facilitate art projects as a tool that is both fun and helps youth in their process of healing. In 2012, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. won the Ellen Magnin Newman award for incorporating art into our Children’s and Peer Support Groups.

Help us continue to provide these essential services to survivors and their children by becoming a monthly donor today. These lifesaving programs could not occur if it wasn’t for the passionate support of donors and activists just like you. It is caring people like you who enable us to carry out the work we do to end domestic violence in our communities.

Thank you for everything you do to support domestic violence survivors!


Jill Zawisza
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Executive Director

The illustration depicts art created by our Children’s Group participants.

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Powerful Partnerships Conference Follow-Up

Powerful Partnerships logoOn April 24th and 25th, The Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence co-hosted a national conference to honor the power of partnerships in ending domestic violence.

The conference celebrated and coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Delaware, the 20th anniversary of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. The conference included a variety of workshops including topics related to engaging men and boys, leadership development, legal system response, strengthening the movement and wellness and self-care.

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was fortunate enough to be asked to present on the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC). The DVIRC is an online database of close to 1,000 resources for domestic violence survivors and offers ways in which domestic violence service providers can continue to stay connected through online forums, a shared library and community calendar. During the session, Community Liaison Manager Mariya Taher and Program Assistant Tania Parks shared a bit about the history of the project, briefly toured participants through the features of the site, and shared some of the challenges our agency has encountered throughout the course of the project.

The session had a good response from participants and we are already in contact with agency representatives in that region of the country to offer support while they create a similar resource platform.

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