W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s 2nd Annual Doggie Walk!

On July 19th, 2014, W.O.M.A.N., Inc staff, volunteers, and community members all got together at Duboce Park for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s  2nd Annual Doggie Walk. The purpose of this event is to not only show the connection between pet abuse and domestic violence, but also to show the strong connection between survivors and their pets; pets often provide an incomparable form of support for survivors. This year’s event was particularly special, as it was dedicated to Claire Pierce Moreira, a beloved volunteer of W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and pet-lover, who passed away this past year.

Beloved Volunteer and Pet-Lover, Claire.  Claire volunteered many hours of her time to help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and survivors of domestic violence. We are forever thankful for her!

Beloved Volunteer and Pet-Lover, Claire. Claire volunteered many hours of her time to help W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and survivors of domestic violence. We are forever thankful for her!

Friends and family of Claire, along with our much-appreciated community of supporters, came out that Saturday afternoon with their dear furry companions to both honor Claire and her deep compassion for pets and domestic violence survivors, as well as to recognize the high prevalence of pet abuse. Everyone got the chance to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, while also learning about each of our unique connections to pet abuse, domestic abuse, and W.O.M.A.N., Inc. In the midst of it all, we also threw in a few fun pet challenges, including a “Longest Stay” challenge (i.e. the dog who could “stay” the longest) and a “Best Trick” challenge. Additionally, the Events Committee at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. held a raffle, featuring prizes uniquely fitted to the theme of pets, such as doggie treats/food, dog wash certificates, a pet variety gift-pack, and finally (though not for pets), a cafe gift certificate.. At the end of the event–we were able to raise a grand total of $310, from both raffle entries and voluntary donations.Doggie Walk 2014widoggiewalk2014-2


An overwhelming amount of research shows a strong correlation between pet abuse and domestic violence. If pet abuse is occurring, there is a great chance that domestic violence is also occurring. Studies show that as many as “71% of pet-owning survivors entering [domestic violence] shelters reported that their abuser had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims.” Survivors of domestic violence are also more tentative about leaving abusive relationships at the fear of their pets getting more hurt. Between 25% and 40% of survivors reported they were unable to leave an abusive situation because they worried what would happen to their pets. (“Facts About Animal Abuse and Domestic Violence”, n.d.). This stark statistic shows just how central pets are in the lives of many domestic violence survivors. Domestic violence is frequently a silent issue in and of itself; with the added concern of pet abuse, this predicament poses yet another obstacle for domestic violence survivors to seek help in their tenuous circumstances.


From all of us at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we’d like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to our business sponsors:  Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods, Noe Valley Pet Co., K9 Scrub Club, and Duboce Park Cafe who all generously donated wonderful raffle items to support this event and our agency. Furthermore, we’d like to give a big THANK YOU to all our event participants! You all illustrate that it really takes a whole community to confront the challenges of domestic violence and we are so grateful for your support!W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Doggie Walk 2014

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C.U.E. Tip: Meditation


As advocates for survivors of domestic violence, we can feel overwhelmed and stressed. Our stress can make us tired, unhappy, and frustrated. This can affect our health and the relationships around us.

As explained in howtomeditate.com, “we are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate. But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance. Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy.”

Taking time out of our days to meditate and shift our energy is a great way to handle being stressed and over worked.

Here is a quick guide to breathing meditation:

1. Choose a quiet place to sit

2. You can sit in a traditional cross legged position or what ever is comfortable

3. Keep back straight to keep our minds from being sluggish or sleepy

4. Have your eyes partially closed

5. Focus on your breathing, try to breath naturally don’t attempt to control it

6. Slowly try to become aware of the sensation of breathing, this is the object of meditation

7. If your mind wanders, it’s okay, immediately return it to your breaths

For more information on how to meditate, go to howtomeditate.com

What is C.U.E.? Read more about it.

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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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