W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Has Moved!


After tireless searching and touring spaces, we finally found a spot to call home! Our 26 Boardman Place office location is located in the SoMa directly across the street from 850 Bryant. While we will miss the Mission dearly, we are so excited for the future this new place holds. Please stay tuned for details on our open house to be happening shortly! Looking forward to connecting with you at our new building!

Our offices are open and ready to serve! We have resumed our normal drop-in hours: Wednesdays & Fridays 2:00-3:30. During drop-in support times, survivors of domestic violence, their friends and/or their family members can meet with a trained advocate for in-person support. In this meeting, we provide peer counseling, safety planning, and referrals. Additionally, survivors, their friends and/or family can learn more about W.O.M.A.N., Inc. services such as our peer support groups, Latina Program, and therapy. Drop-in support sessions are offered in English and Spanish.

Move donation ask

W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is Moving!


After much searching, the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team is so excited to announce our move from the Mission into the SoMa on Friday, July 1st!

In hopes of making this a smooth transition for everyone, here are some things we want folks to know about changes in our hours and operations:

  • The W.O.M.A.N., Inc. office will be closed starting Monday, June 27th throughmoving-boxes Tuesday, July 5th. We thank you in advance for your patience & apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
  • While our office will be closed, our 24/7 Domestic Violence Support Line will be fully functioning during this transition. (415)864-4722
  • We will re-open at our new location with normal drop-in hours onWednesday, July 6th (Wednesday & Friday 2:00pm—3:30pm).

Would you like to support us during the moving process?
This is a BIG and busy time for us — we would be so grateful for any assistance we can get with the transition! In addition to the logistical costs (i.e. furnishing therapy, support line and office rooms, IT, moving expenses etc.), we would also like to alter and beautify the space to make a home out of our new spot.  Would you consider making a small donation to help us with the move? Not only would it be helpful in a practical sense, you would be helping us create an inviting and warm environment where folks entering our space can feel comfortable and safe.
If interested, you can make a contribution here at our DonateNow page.

We look forward to updating you on our progress!

Jill Zawisza, Executive Director

Después de mucha búsqueda, el equipo de W.O.M.A.N., Inc. esta emocionado de anunciar nuestra mudanza de la Misión a SoMa el Viernes, 1ero de Julio!

Para hacer la transición más fácil para todos, queremos que la gente sepa algunos de los cambios de horario y operaciones en la agencia:

    • La oficina de W.O. M. A. N., Inc. estará cerrada desde el Lunes, 27 de Junio hasta el Martes, 5 de Julio. Les agradecemos en antemano por su paciencia y nos disculpamos por cualquier inconveniencia que esto pueda causar.


  • Aunque la oficina este cerrada, nuestra línea de apoyo de 24/7 seguirá funcionando completamente durante esta transición. (415) 864- 4722
  • Estaremos abiertos en nuestro nuevo local con horarios normales de consulta sin cita el Miércoles, 6 de Julio (Miércoles y Jueves 2:00pm – 3:30pm)


¿Quisieras apoyarnos durante el proceso de mudanza?

!Éste es un momento atareado y de mucho significado para nosotros – estaríamos muy agradecidos de cualquier ayuda que podamos obtener en esta transición! Adicionalmente a los costos del proceso (que son amoblar los cuartos de terapia, la línea de apoyo, soporte técnico, gastos de mudanza, etc.), nos gustaría también cambiar y embellecer el espacio para hacer un hogar de nuestro nuevo local.  ¿Considerarías hacer una pequeña donación para ayudarnos con la mudanza? No solo sería útil en el sentido práctico, sino que estarías ayudándonos a crear un entorno cálido y acogedor donde la gente que entre a nuestro espacio se sienta cómoda y a salvo.

Si estas interesado, puedes hacer una contribución aquí a nuestra página de DonarAhora.

¡Esperamos actualizarte de nuestro progreso!


Board Highlight: Juliette-Marie Somerset

1) What opportunities have you been involved with at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
W.O.M.A.N. Inc. and The Riley Center provide a comprehensive 40 hour domestic violence training several times during the year for volunteer peer advocates and counselors. I completed the Fall 2015 DV training program and have been a trained volunteer peer counselor/advocate on the Support Line for the past 8 months at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Prior to starting the DV training I made a personal commitment to W.O.M.A.N., Inc. to volunteer weekly for a full year. There are survivors in our community who really view the 24/7 confidential Support Line as essential to accessing lifesaving resources, safety planning and hope.Juliette-Marie Professional Profile Photo 2016
In March of this year W.O.M.A.N., Inc. extended an invitation to me and another Support Line peer advocate to attend Woven World Summit here in San Francisco. It was an absolute honor to represent the agency at this amazing network of women supporting each other to thrive. During the two-day conference we all experienced heart-felt connection, deep listening, authenticity and humility as we discovered meaning, purpose, joy and community. The takeaway from the Woven World Summit is that women need to create concentric circles and talk openly and honestly about our challenges and unite together. This solidarity of sacred lives woven together can change the trajectory of our lives and make our world better and safer.

2) What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s anti-violence efforts?
I have been engaged in the social justice movement as a member of Community United Against Violence (CUAV). It was my personal connection with CUAV that brought me and Jill together for a 3-day Move To End Violence workshop sponsored as an operational program by the NoVo Foundation to end violence against girls and women. The theme of our 3 days together was Liberation and Equity. A key aspect of anti-violence movement is strengthen our understanding of intersectional analysis as we explore and create solutions to end violence. Interlocking systems stand in the way of promoting justice for us all.
I value profoundly the dignity and personal stories of strength of every survivor who takes the courageous steps to end domestic violence in their lives. What inspires me most about supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s anti-violence movement is that it rooted firmly in the strength and resilience of survivors.
3) Can you tell us about your professional background?
I am a transformational independent leadership executive and consultant dedicated to accelerating social impact with philanthropy, innovation, insight and compassion. I have a wide knowledge of and professional experience in targeted fundraising campaigns, effective strategic development, public-private community partnerships and change processes in not-for-profit and volunteer leadership management organizations.
I am a mentor and leader in my community as a mentor empowering women with the local San Francisco Dress for Success cohort programs: Going Places Network. I was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center which is fostering a new era in health, wellness and equality and the future of LGBTQ health in San Francisco. I am dedicated to social entrepreneurship and economic empowerment and weekly volunteer at SCORE mentors supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

I was educated at Yale University and Columbia University with a graduate program in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management. I currently lives in San Francisco, California.

4) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I hope my relationship building skills will be valued as a Board member. Also my governance and fundraising knowledge.
As a Board member, I can help to broaden the perspective and deepen the understanding of the community we serve. I can help with diversity and inclusiveness in its own leadership.
I welcome the opportunity to share my nonprofit industry experience, volunteer leadership management expertise.

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.?
Let’s all build solidarity together. Let’s help to break the corrosive silence that keeps survivors from getting help, safety planning and hope. I can share personally that W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is a community that will embrace warmly all of us.
6) Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
I can spend endless hours in the garden. I love planting and cultivating!


Thanks for joining the board, Juliette-Marie! W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is so appreciative of your passion and commitment to our community and the larger anti-violence movement. We look forward to your collaboration!

Supporting LGBTQ Survivors


Contributed by former W.O.M.A.N., Inc. volunteer, Jessica Hoh

Talking about intimate partner violence remains a dirty secret in any community, however within LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) communities discussing this issue is often shrouded with additional layers of shame and stigma. Research suggests that LGBTQ individuals experience higher amounts of violence in general, poverty, incarceration, poverty, suicide, and, unfortunately intimate partner violence as well. These rates are even higher amongst LGBTQ people of color.abuseawareness-ribbon-ctsy-messerwoland-wikimedia-commons

By now it’s commonly understood why LGBTQ communities experience higher rates of oppression: homophobia and transphobia incur bullying, bashing, higher rates of unemployment, etc. With these oppressions, it’s understandable that many LGBTQ individuals seek refuge and safety within queer spaces. Often LGBTQ individuals rely heavily on queer community, especially when their family of origins fail to provide them support and/or safety. These networks can become very powerful, beautiful and healing spaces.

However, we know intimate partner abuse does occur within LGBTQ relationships with
rates similar, (and certain studies report higher rates), to heterosexual couples.
When abuse does occur many survivors are at a loss for what to do, for many reasons. Some of those reasons include:

  • Misunderstanding gender dynamics of abuse: Cultural norms often generalize abuse as occurring solely from male-identified persons towards women. When abuse dynamics look different than that narrative, recognizing occurring abuse can be confusing and challenging. Especially so if a more feminine identified individual is the abuser.
  • Fear of portraying LGBTQ individuals negatively: LGBTQ individuals are often pathologized and “othered.” LGBTQ folks may fear additional negative labels applied to their identities.
  • Distrust of social service agencies: Many LGBTQ survivors are wary when seeking outside assistance due to homophobia and transphobia. Survivors may fear inappropriate questions, disbelief that abuse occurred, and failure for agencies to take abuse seriously. Additionally, as of present, there are no shelters for male-identified survivors. So if someone in a gay relationship experiences violence, they may experience a harder time finding shelter. For transgender survivors, finding shelter of any kind may incur even more difficulties.
  • Fear of alienation from LGBTQ community: Survivors may fear coming forward with abuse because they believe their community will side with the abuser. While this fear occurs in all communities, many LGBTQ individuals have little or no familial support so LGBTQ friends/family may be all the social support they have.        


Despite these additional experiences many LGBTQ survivors may experience, there are various ways survivor advocates can be sensitive to these issues:

  • Don’t assume gender: When answering crisis-line calls or working with clients, we often automatically generate gender identities for folks based on appearances and/or vocal tones. Simply asking instead of assuming can eliminate mis-gendering (using incorrect pronouns/names) survivors.
  • Use gender-neutral language: Replace phrases including “ladies” and “guys” with “folks,” “friends,” “person/people,” etc.
  • Hands groupTake extra steps for transgender survivors: Transgender individuals have the highest rates of suicide, bashing, poverty, homelessness and incarceration. They additionally often experience more challenges when seeking emergency shelter. Remember that on top of experience partner abuse, they may also be dealing with a lot of additional oppressions.
  • Keep in mind LGBTQ survivors experience additional hurdles: Remember LGBTQ individuals may not be out to their friends, family and/or employers, they may rely solely on LGBTQ community for support and they may hold shame over being LGBTQ. Being knowledgeable and sensitive to these additional layers will help assist members of these communities better.

Ending domestic violence takes support from the entire community. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. continually strives to be inclusive and supportive to survivors from all walks of life, age groups, race and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations. I’m proud to be affiliated with such a strong group of individuals working to end domestic violence in all forms.  Keep up the fantastic, amazing work!


1) Renzetti, Claire. Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships. Chicago: Routledge Press, 1996.

2)  MacKenzie, G. O. Transgender Nation. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press., 1994.

Are you in need of support for yourself, an LGBT friend or family member? You are not alone! You can:

Call our support line at (415)864-4722 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact an LGBTQ specific domestic violence program: 

  • Community United Against Violence (CUAV): (415)777-5500
  • The Northwest Network LGBT Domestic Violence Hotline: (206)568-7777

Volunteer Highlight: Ignacia Pérez Botto

1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I got involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in October 2015.e202bb5c-cee6-43d1-8afe-82d9d4d5dabd

2)What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I have always felt interested in working towards stopping the injustices that are in our society. Since I was a teenager, I wanted to become a psychologist, and when I graduated I had no doubt that I had made the right choice. I started working in human resources and practicing my passion in mental health as a volunteer, mostly with children and families.
Today, anti-violence work is a field I feel committed to, because it combines my passion of the work that I have been doing with families with a challenging issue that affects all kinds of people, no matter nationality, race or level of education.

3)What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
Since I finished my training in October of 2015, I have had a lot of different opportunities at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. First, I started covering the support line, and I am still doing that currently.
Later, I started receiving people who come for drop-in support and also got to facilitate a Spanish support group. All of these different areas have been an opportunity to practice containment, support, and also to learn from others. Yes! In this field you never stop learning!

4)How has your involvement impacted your life?
When I moved from Chile to the US, I felt the necessity of being involved with a non-profit organization and started building my entire career around my passion with mental health.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. was the first place that opened their doors, trusted me and offered a new field to work with. Today, after 6 months, I think that I found a place where I feel comfortable, and where I feel free to express
my opinion and give ideas.

f707a5a0-2bb8-44e5-bbe5-5cf114b3081f5)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 would tell them that by doing this job we are agents of change, and that even a small piece of our practice, such as answering a short call or giving a referral, may mean a substantial difference in someone’s life.
To new volunteers, I would say that by doing this job we should be aware that we may feel challenged and sometimes overwhelmed, so it is very important that, as part of our routine we give ourselves a space to practice self-care. This will be a key word if you want to work in helping others.
Finally, I would like to say that, by working in this field I feel that we are powerful agents that can educate our communities towards a better understanding about what domestic violence is about.

Here’s what our team has to say about this stellar volunteer:

“Ignacia has done so much for the Latina Program already. She is always ready to help out in anything and everything. I really appreciate how much she has helped me out.” -Adilia, Echando Pa’lante Coordinator

Summer 2016 40 Hour Domestic Violence Training

DV volunteer flyer fall 15

Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here & fill out an application here.

Upon completion of your application, please email Alicia at alicia@womaninc.org to confirm we have received your application.

Donor Highlight: Sormeh Naderi


What is your name?IMG_4702
Hello! My name is Sormeh Naderi.

How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I was looking to become more involved with my community. I researched numerous smaller non-profit organizations and encountered W.O.M.A.N. Inc. I was truly impressed by their values and their mission, which are in line with mine.

Please tell us about your fundraising efforts for W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
I had two approaches in fundraising for W.O.M.A.N Inc. On my campus, sent a mass email to all staff and students to inform them of the fundraiser. I created a flyer and posted numerous copies around school, I made several announcements to the whole school, and had many conversations with students and staff in depth about the cause. Outside my school efforts, I orchestrated a few gatherings of family and friends. I sent out another mass email and made several phone calls to inform family friends about this cause. My goal was to inform every single individual I knew about an issue that definitely should not be ignored. I was speechless by the amount of positive feedback I received.


What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s anti-violence efforts?
Brave survivors who have struggled and been able to bounce back have inspired me to want to aid in such an important cause. No one should have to endure such harrowing events but seeing the outcome of survivors who were able to rise up from rock bottom with the proper support system is truly inspiring. These strong and powerful women are the ones who are going to change the world with their zeal for justice and strength.

What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
I hope that if everyone works together, we will grow as a society that is truly connected by strong, compassionate individuals. Unfortunately there will always be those who wish to hurt others, but if good people work together and empower those who have been wounded, we can teach individuals who have fallen victim to terrible circumstances how truly amazing they are.

Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
One fun fact about me is that I absolutely love the song Dancing Queen and cannot help but break out my dance moves whenever I hear it.