Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kick-Off at City Hall

Kicking off Domestic Violence Awareness Month at City Hall yesterday! W.O.M.A.N, Inc. got to speak alongside leaders, advocates, and community members.

 

If folks missed the kick-off, we’d like to share Laura’s (a founding member of our Echando Pa’lante Program) speech about her experience w/ WINC below:
“Hace algunos años , viví una de las peores experiencia de mi vida, que fue la Violencia Doméstica. Viví en carne propia todos los tipos de abuso, desde psicológico, físico, económico, y sexual. Mi vida era un desastre, no encontraba una razón para vivir. Me sentía culpable por haber dejado a mis hijos en México, ya que como otras mujeres emigre a los Estados Unidos en busca de una mejor vida, pero las cosas no eran lo que yo creía. No tuve una, sino 2 relaciones abusivas, y fue hasta que estuve a punto de morir en manos de mi agresor que fue lo que me hizo reaccionar, así fue como llegue a W.O.M.A.N., Inc, aproximadamente en el 2007 y así logre salir adelante. Ya como sobreviviente, forme parte del grupo Echando Pa’lante, el cual me ha dado las herramientas y el entrenamiento necesario para poder ayudar a otras mujeres. Quiero usar esa mala experiencia en cosas positivas y hacerla llegar a muchos lugares. A través del alcance que realizamos, yo soy un ejemplo de que SI SE PUEDE. Ahora soy una persona fuerte, con una alma libre, se decir no a lo que no me gusta, y me quiero a mi misma. W.O.M.A.N., Inc. ha estado a mi lado en los peores momentos de mi vida, pero también en mis logros. Nunca terminaré de agradecer lo que W.O.M.A.N., Inc. ha hecho por mi. GRACIAS!”
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“Years ago, I lived one of the worst experiences of my life, and that was Domestic Violence. I lived through all forms of abuse, from psychological, physical, economic, sexual. My life was a disaster, I couldn’t find a reason to live for, I felt guilty for leaving my children in Mexico. Like many other women I migrated to the United States in search of a better life, but things were not what I thought they were. I not only lived through 1 abuse relationship but 2. It was up until the point where I was about to die at the hands of my aggressor that I reacted and that was how I came to W.O.M.A.N. Inc., approximately in 2007 and that is how I was able to push forward. As a survivor, I formed part of the group Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward), which has given me tools and the necessary training to support other women. I want to use that bad experience, for positive things and make it reach many places. Through the outreach that we do, I am an example that “SI SE PUEDE”. I am a stronger person, with a free soul, I know how to say no to things that I do not like, and I love myself. W.O.M.A.N. Inc., has been there at my side in the worst moments of my life, but they have also been with me through my accomplishments. I will never finish thanking what WOMAN Inc has done for me. Thank you!”
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We Could Win up to $100,000 — Support W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in The 2017 Purple Purse Challenge!

Friends! October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there are many ways you can get involved to show your support for survivors. One way is by helping your local domestic violence organizations keep their programs strong by fundraising & donating. For the 3rd year in a row, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been selected to participate in Allstate’s Annual Purple Purse Challenge, a nationwide initiative to raise money for organizations doing the critical work to support domestic violence survivors in their communities. Last year they were able to raise a collective $3 million for domestic violence organizations across the U.S. This is an incredible, month-long fundraising opportunity and we need YOUR help to make it a success.

What is the Purple Purse Challenge exactly? 

The Purple Purse Challenge is a fundraising campaign launched by The Allstate Foundation where domestic violence organizations compete to raise the most money during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The top team wins a grand prize cash donation of $100,000 from The Allstate Foundation. There are also weekly fundraising challenges that give us opportunities to win more monetary prizes along the way. On top of all of that, we get to keep 100% of all the funds we raise in the process. Pretty dang sweet. This an awesome way, not only to fund our services, but to help raise awareness about DV & increase visibility of the work we’re doing to address it.

It starts on Monday, October 2 at 9am and ends Tuesday, October 31 at 10:59:59 p.m.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

1.Join Our Team, Become a Fundraiser! 

Please consider joining our team as a fundraiser. By reaching out to your network of supporters, you can help us make an even bigger impact. And, just like last year, the person who raises the most will get to take home the Limited Edition Purple Purse designed by this year’s ambassador, Serena Williams. It takes less than five minutes to set up a fundraiser. All you have to do is Go Here and click ‘Fundraise for This Community Partner.’

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Once you join the team, you have the option to personalize your page with a story and photos to illustrate why our cause is important to you. Then, when the Challenge starts on October 2nd, share it with your people and start garnering support! Just the simple act of joining our team, gives us the opportunity to qualify for the first bonus challenge.

2. Donate!

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2016 W.O.M.A.N., Inc. PPC Page

If fundraising isn’t an option for you, we hope you’ll consider making a donation. We are proud of the work we do and truly couldn’t make it happen without your support. It’ll also help us with our goals during the the bonus challenges. Every donation makes a difference, no matter how big or small. When the time comes, you can select a fundraiser here on our Purple Purse page!

3. Spread the word!

We understand fundraising takes time, donating takes money and that not all of us have the capacity for that. Just taking a moment to share this on your social media platforms would be a great help! RSVP to the challenge on Facebook, share with & invite your friends here.

Thanks in advance for your participation! We’ll be updating folks about our progress through our newsletter list! Be sure to subscribe here!

New Bill (AB 2337) Requires CA Employers to Notify Employees of Their Right to Take Domestic Violence Leave

Many of the survivors who reach out to us fear their domestic violence situation may cost them their job(s). Sometimes it’s because the person that is harming them shows up at their workplace or uses other means to sabotage the survivor’s job security. Sometimes survivors feel they must choose between seeking confidential shelter out of their area and keeping their job. And, sometimes, trauma just really takes mental and physical tolls on our bodies. What many folks do not know is that, in California, there are legal employment protections for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While these laws have been around, there has previously been little done to ensure that employees are informed of their rights around these issues.

Effective July 1, 2017, employers (who have 25+ employees) are required to provide written documentation to workers notifying of their rights should they ever experience domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking. As noted in the California Workplace Law Blog,

This includes notifying employees that are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking that they may take time off from work to (1) seek medical attention for injuries; (2) obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center; (3) obtain psychological counseling; or (4) participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety, including temporary or permanent relocation. Employers are prohibited from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee because of the employee’s known status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking or for taking domestic violence leave.

These protections (and letting survivors know of these protections) are very important in increasing survivor safety.

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Shalom Bayit is Hosting a Fall 2017 Relationship Support Group for Women

San Francisco Support Group Forming This Fall for women who have experienced an abusive or controlling relationship, past or present. The support group is co-led by Shalom Bayit and Bay Area Jewish Healing Center to create a spiritually healing, empowering, and safe space. It is free and confidential with childcare provided. All women are welcome regardless of age, affiliation, partner’s gender, or current relationship status. We welcome non-Jewish and transgender people who are seeking a Jewish women-centered space. To sign up, call Shalom Bayit at (510) 845-8874. For more information about Shalom Bayit, visit www.shalom-bayit.org

SF Support Group Flyer 2017 8-7 (1)

What W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Echando Pa’lante Program Shows About Shared Power, Leadership, Relationship Building & Survivor Success

Since 1978, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has supported survivors of domestic violence through empowerment-based, survivor-centered programming that honors the personal autonomy, power and resiliency of people impacted by violence.  These principles are guided by seeing survivors as whole people who are the experts of their own lives. We’re very proud to share with you a report on a W.O.M.A.N., Inc. program that truly captures the essence of these grassroots efforts – this program is called Echando Pa’lante (Moving Forward).

Echando Pa’lante is a survivor-led initiative co-created by women who had gone through W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s Latinx Program (in-depth case management for monolingual Spanish speakers) and the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. team. Initially, Echando Pa’lante provided ongoing engagement and a creative, supportive space for participants post-crisis. The set-up was more open than conventional therapeutic atmospheres which allowed for community building and bonding between the folks partaking in the program. Motivated by the participants’ desire to get more involved, Echando Pa’lante evolved into a program that includes a comprehensive leadership component where the participants who’ve survived abuse and worked towards healing and recovery, are trained to be domestic violence advocates themselves. With the assistance of Montesinos & Associates, we developed an evaluation report through the lens of how survivors define success. This evaluation centers the voices of Las Pioneras (the pioneers), the first participants and steering group of Echando Pa’lante. Below, we’ll provide a brief synopsis of the results, but, when you’re done, we encourage you to read the full report here. In this evaluation, you’ll get to learn more about the inception and progression of Echando Pa’lante, and the impact of this co-created project shaped by the participants who inspired it.

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Congratulations to Mary Martinez on Her New Role as W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Associate Director!

Please join us in congratulating Mary Martinez on her promotion to Associate Director at W.O.M.A.N., Inc.! Mary originally joined W.O.M.A.N., Inc. as a support line volunteer back in February of 2008. Due to her hard work, commitment, and passion, she quickly progressed in her work and become a strong leader of the organization. Due in part to her commitment and creativity, we have transitioned to a “distributed leadership” model that has changed the tide of W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s decision making processes, and stance in the field. Mary’s strong and steady presence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been pivotal as we moved through many changes and transitions at the organization.

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Mary & a few of her favorite things | Mary y algunas de sus cosas favoritas

Mary is passionate about the intersections of violence; she is ardent in her approach to ending domestic violence and centers race in organizational operations, direct service and in creating collaborations across nonprofit sectors.

In addition to her exceptional work at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Mary is involved in innovative projects outside of the organization. Mary is a member of The Network Weaving Learning Lab project, which seeks to build strong networks within the field and across movements, and the Art as Liberation project which seeks to explore arts as a medium for transforming community and survivor narratives on domestic violence.
Team W.O.M.A.N., Inc. is enthusiastic about Mary’s promotion, and know she will continue to help us grow and develop as an organization and as people. Congratulations and thank you, Mary!


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Thank you for supporting Dismantling & Rebuilding: An Evening for Stronger, Safer Communities!

We want to send a BIG thank you to everyone who supported Dismantling and Rebuilding: An Evening for Stronger, Safer Communities. On April 28th, we celebrating our Executive Director Jill Zawisza’s 20 years of leadership in the domestic violence field and her 10th anniversary with W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Dismantling & Rebuilding was about anti-oppression, intersectional feminism, collaboration across difference, and holding collective power. Inspired by the words of Audre Lorde, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” the event sought to promote stronger, safer communities rooted in intersectionality and inclusion. Board, staff, volunteers and community members came together to celebrate with art, music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. With everyone’s support, the W.O.M.A.N., Inc. Board was able to put together a heartwarming and fun event that raised over $7,000 for domestic violence survivors, their friends and family.

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